After winning game 1, 4-1, The Ventura County Pirates (33-10, 3-0 Sunset Baseball League postseason) can win an SBL championship by defeating the Solana Beach Redbirds (23-17, 2-2) in Game 2 of the SBL Finals 3 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at Cal State Fullerton.
Ye’ Dare Return. . .
The Pirates are 7-0 against the Redbirds this summer and have outscored them 74-8 in the process. Deandrey Carter (6-0) earned the win in Game 1 and Matthew Sox earned the save.
Efficient Travels. . .
Ventura County has played just three games this postseason, the shortest path possible to game 2 of the Finals. They earned a first-round bye for clinching their division. They defeated their first playoff opponent, the OC Legends, 19-2, July 24 before downing the Redbirds, 8-1, July 25. Ventura has a 31-4 postseason run differential including a 12-2 run differential against the Redbirds during that span.
Solana Beach has used 12 pitchers in the playoffs and seven of them have pitched against the Pirates.
Cannons row. . .
Ethan Durant will start in the first game Sunday. His deceptive movement and ability to mix locations have helped him to a 2.00 ERA this year. The lefty boasts a 33-7 strike-out-to-walk ratio in 27 innings pitched. His 11 stikeouts-per-nine-innings is the highest amongst the nine Pirates with more than 25 innings pitched.
Durant is pitching on seven days rest Sunday. In three outings with at least that many days rest, Durant is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and two Quality Starts.
Durant was perfect with two strikeouts in his only inning pitched against the Redbirds this summer, which occurred July 17.
Leading the Offensive. . .
Catcher Bradley Chesterton is 5-11 this postseason and has been heating up for several weeks. His active eight-game hitting streak has raised his batting average to .368. He credits his recent outbreak to not overthinking while at the plate.
Not one to be outdone, Pirates’ second baseman Kyle Soberano is 6-11 with five runs in the playoffs. He is 3-8 against the Redbirds This postseason. Soberano leads the team with a .468 batting average and 11 stolen bases this year.
First baseman Jason Ajamian leads SBL with nine home runs this season including one this postseason. He was 2-3 with a double and two RBIs in game 1 of the Finals. In five games against the Solana Beach this summer, Ajamian is 7-15 with three doubles, two home runs, six RBIs, and eight runs scored.
This postseason, Ajamian is 4-6 with two doubles, a home run, six RBIs and four runs scored. He is batting .426 with a 1.291 OPS this year. His 34 RBIs are the second most in SBL.
Catcher Nick Henry played his first game of the postseason in game one. He extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI-triple.
If necessary, game 3 of the Finals will be played approximately 7 p.m. Sunday.