LA MIRADA -- It was a matchup of the two first place teams in the Sunset League, and it met expectations. The Ventura County Pirates (11-5, 18-6) split the doubleheader with the So Cal Shepherds (10-4, 10-4) Saturday afternoon at Biola University.
In Game 1, it looked as though the Pirates would win. They took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the 8th, but that's where everything changed. The Shepherds plated five runs and went on to win by a final of 6-4.
Taylor Justus (San Jose State) and Eddie Pietschmann (Chaffey College) came up big for the Pirates. Each blasted a home run and two RBI.
The Shepherds got a complete team performance to claim the victory as Colton Back (Ashbury University), Chad Ragland (Delta State), Austin Caulk and RJ Lan each contributed one RBI.
In Game 2, the Pirates got a measure of revenge, winning 9-2 behind a strong start. Ventura County had a 5-0 lead after two innings and increased it to 8-0 by the 4th inning.
Eric Crouse (Cal State Monterey Bay) was electric on the bump, tossing six innings, striking out four and allowing no runs.
Eddie Pietschmann had another big game with three hits, one RBI and scored twice. Kyle Sobrano (College of the Canyons), the reigning SBL Player of the Week continued his tear, finishing with three hits, two RBI and one run scored.
The Shepherds got one RBI from RJ Lan and Brett Cobb (Cisco Community College).
The Shepherds host the Solana Beach Redbirds Sunday at Biola University.
Ventura County travels to face the South Bay Sliders on Sunday.
(photo credit: Kyla McGuire)