The Best of the West League began Thursday’s play with four programs hoping to earn a spot in the best-of-three championship series.
The So Cal Shepherds eliminated the Arroyo Seco Sentinels, 5-3, in the morning game, and the top-seeded Ventura County Pirates claimed a 5-2 victory over the No. 2 seeded Inland Valley Pirates.
With the win, the VCP earned a spot in this weekend’s final round, and in the process, it set up Thursday night’s win-or-go-home scenario between the IVP and SCS at Cal Poly Pomona.
After spotting the Shepherds a second-inning run, the Pirates pitching staff buckled down in a 5-1 victory.
The Pirates got two runs in the bottom of the fourth, one in the sixth and a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning.
Anthony Barrera went seven strong innings to earn the win.
Barrera allowed just one run on seven hits.
He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
Diego Cruz provided two scoreless innings in relief.
Cruz allowed a pair of hits, didn’t issue a walk and fanned one SCS batter.
Shane Poe singled and scored.
Drew Salyers had an RBI single.
Alex Laureano singled twice and Brandon Adams doubled.
Rhett Stein went 2-for-4, while Ritter Steinmann and Raul Soto Romero had one single apiece.
IVP scored one run on two hits and a walk off Shane Poe, and got two each against Brandon Adams and Cameron Kelly.
Conner McKinney singled and hit a solo shot for the Pirates.
Dominic Martinez went 4-for-4 and scored three runs.
Anthony McFarland walked and had two singles.
Jacob Badawi had three singles in the win.
In Thursday’s two games, Badawi went 6-for-9, with a double and scored one run.
Anthony Gibbons walked and had an RBI.
Bret Bowers walked twice, doubled and drove in a pair of runs.
Up next: The VCB and the IVP will open their best-of-three championship series tonight (Friday) at Cal Poly Pomona.
The first pitch is set for 6.
Win: Anthony Barrera
HR: Conner McKinney (IVP)
2B: Brandon Adams (SCS); Bret Bowers (IVP)
Records: VCB (18-6-1); IVP (18-6-1); Seco (14-9-1); SCS (10-15)