By Brian Reed-Baiotto, Sports Editor
The Ventura County Pirates earned the Best of the West League championship on Friday night at Cal Poly Pomona.
VCP defeated the Inland Valley Pirates, 6-4, in the first game of a best-of-three series.
After the final out in the top of the ninth inning, IVP manager Charlie Reynoso alerted VCP skipper, George Vranau, that Inland Valley would not have enough pitching to continue the series.
The announcement set off a celebration amongst the VCP players and their fans.
It was their second championship in five years.
In 2022, VCP won five of their six games against the IVP.
Alex Abbott went four innings and allowed one run on five hits.
He walked one and struck out four IVP batters.
Kellan Montgomery provided two scoreless and hitless innings, walking three and striking out one.
Dylan Goodrich got the save, going two innings and allowing one run on one hit.
Goodrich walked two and fanned a pair of Inland Valley batters.
Anthony Gibbons walked, tripled and scored.
Conner McKinney singled, doubled, scored and had an RBI.
Gabriel Rico singled, scored and drove in a run.
Anthony McFarland had an RBI single.
Nathaniel Garcia went 2-for-4 for the IVP, and Bret Bowers walked four times and scored once.
Wyatt Johnson got the loss, allowing four runs on six hits over his five innings on Friday.
Johnson walked five and struck out five VCP batters.
Darren Taylor singled, doubled and drove in a pair of runs.
Daniel Laughery walked, singled twice, scored two runs and had one RBI.
Nolan Lingley had a big night, going 2-for-4, with a double and a game-high three RBIs.
Andrew Tovar doubled and scored.
Andrew Buglino was solid throughout the 2022 season behind the plate, and batted just under the .300 mark, with 25 hits, 14 runs and 13 RBIs.
On Friday, the VCP catcher walked and singled.
Angelo Aleman went 2-for-4 and Quintt Landis walked three times and scored once.
Eli Paton singled and scored for VCP.
Jovan Camacho walked and scored.
Win: Alex Abbott
Loss: Wyatt Johnson
Save: Dylan Goodrich
3B: Anthony Gibbons (IVP)
2B: Conner McKinney (IVP); Darren Taylor (VCP), Nolan Lingley (VCP), Andrew Tovar (VCP)
Records: IVP (18-7-1); VCP (20-6)