By: Jack Grimse
POMONA, Calif. – Monday afternoon was a wash as the Palm Springs POWER split a doubleheader with the Inland Valley Pirates in the penultimate SCCBL series of the summer. Game one was a offensive frenzy, ending in a 17-12 win for the POWER, while the bats went silent for the majority of game two, resulting in a 10-3 defeat.
Wasting no time, the POWER exploded for seven runs in the top of the first. Pirates starter Brandon Hornung retired two of the first three batters, but nine straight hitters reached, forcing an early pitching change. Dillan Smith singled in his first trip to the plate, and drove in two with a double in his second at-bat of the inning.
Luke Barker was back on the mound for the POWER. He came in having not allowed a run in 25 innings, but the streak was broken in the bottom of the first as the Pirates got on the board.
Answering in the next frame were the POWER, as Daniel Sander’s second RBI single in as many innings drove in Cody Gaertner to make it 8-1. Miles Bice tripled to drive in Sander, before scoring the tenth run of the game on a Harry Shipley single. Moments later, Nick Jackson hit a triple to center field that allowed Shipley to score. After Jackson scored following an error, it was 12-1
Trying to stay in the game, the Pirates scored two in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to nine. It would get worse in the fourth, when Dylan Garcia drove in three with a triple.
Fighting against an unstoppable force were the Pirates, as the POWER added another five in the fourth. The score was 17-3 at that point.
No runs were scored again until the seventh as the surge subsided, but the Pirates got five in the frame to cut the lead to nine. Inland Valley would grab another to make it a 17-9 ballgame heading into the final inning.
Receiving a glimmer of hope in the ninth were the Pirates, as they scored three more runs against Max Compton. The rally would fall short, and game one ended in a 17-12 POWER victory.
Game two saw Keaton Cenatiempo take the mound. He didn’t have the luxury of run support like the POWER pitchers in game one. The Pirates got off to an early lead after scoring twice in the first.
Starter Erik Trask was dominant over eight innings of work. He didn’t surrender any runs until the top of the eighth. Jackson started off the rally for the POWER with a walk, and a Ryan Raslowsky double drove him in. Smith tripled and then came in to score, but three runs is all the POWER were able to muster in game two.
Pushing the gap back to seven were the Pirates with two runs in the bottom of inning number eight. Despite a leadoff double by Shipley in the final frame, the rally fell short as the game ended and he was stranded on third.
The final SCCBL series of the regular season starts tomorrow as the Pirates pay a visit to Palm Springs for a two-game set against the POWER. First pitch for tomorrow’s game is at 7:05 p.m. and it’s dollar beer night at Palm Springs Stadium, presented by Tahquitz Creek Golf.