While there was no outcome in Thursday’s Best of the West League showdown between the Inland Valley Pirates and Arroyo Seco Sentinels, the playoff picture is pretty much set.
The Pirates and Sentinels settled for a 5-5 tie on a hot July afternoon at Citrus College.
Trailing by one run in the top of the ninth inning, Conner McKinney hit a two-run blast off Coleman Mitchell to give IVP a 5-4 lead.
Cam Slessor led off the bottom of the ninth with a beautiful drag bunt, and he’d come around to score one batter later on a double from Antonio Andrade.
Andrade stood at second base with no outs, but Arroyo Seco couldn’t close the deal.
The tie, however, all but means the Ventura County Pirates will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s BOTW playoffs.
IVP and Arroyo Seco will be the second and third seeds, respectively, and it looks like the So Cal Shepherds and the East LA Dodgers will play a wild card game to see who faces VCB in the postseason opener.
But back to Thursday’s 5-5 tie.
IVP’s Chris Ceballos went four innings and allowed four runs on six hits.
Ceballos walked two and fanned four.
Aidan Ross had three scoreless innings in relief and allowed just one hit, and the Sentinels got one run on two hits and a walk off Anthony Barrera.
JL Goldman doubled and drove in a pair of runs.
Tommy Castillo went 2-for-4, with a double, run and an RBI.
Slessor also had two hits, drove in one and scored.
Bryce Cerminelli singled, doubled and scored.
Andrade had the game-tying double, walked and scored.
Josh Chavez singled and scored.
Coleman Mitchell allowed two runs on three hits over his two innings.
Mitchell walked one and struck out one IVP batter.
Ryan Graves went three innings and allowed one run on two hits.
He walked one and fanned two.
Jordan Townley surrendered two runs on one hit over his four innings on Thursday.
Townley walked three and struck out a pair of batters.
As mentioned, McKinney hit a two-run HR and finished with three RBIs.
Jacob Badawi singled and scored.
Cole Koniarsky singled, doubled and scored.
Bret Bowers walked and singled, and Daniel Garcia walked and scored.
Isaiah Marquez doubled, and Bradley Chesterton drew a pair of walks.
HR: Conner McKinney (IVP)
2B: Cole Koniarsky (IVP), Isaiah Marquez (IVP); Tommy Castillo (Seco), Antonio Andrade (Seco), Bryce Cerminelli (Seco), JL Goldman (Seco)
Records: IVP (15-6-1); Seco (12-8-1)