The Inland Valley Pirates (13-10-1) held on to defeat the South Bay Saints 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at UCSB.
While the Pirates used a three-run fifth inning to take a 3-0 lead, closing out the game was anything but easy.
In the Pirates’ fifth, Justin Gomez produced the two-run single to give the Pirates the initial lead scoring Jeff Nellis and Chaneng Varela.
The next hitter, Johnny Juarez, continued his hot play and ripped an RBI to left field scoring Gomez to make it a 3-0 score.
The Saints chipped away at the lead with one in the sixth and one in the eighth cutting the deficit to 3-2.
In the eighth inning, reliever Andrew Eppenbach faced runners on second and third with no outs in a 3-2 ballgame and escaped the jam.
In the ninth inning, Eppenbach had runners on first and third with no outs, and once again pulled out the Houdini effort to stymie the opposition and notch his first save of the season.
Brendan Hornung was sensational and demonstrated his Division 1 potential by earning the victory and striking out 11 in 6.2 innings, while only allowing one run.
BattingTB: Kyle Jackson, Jonny Reynoso, Chaneng Varela 2, Jeff Nellis, Justin Gomez, Drew Seelman, Johnny Juarez
RBI: Justin Gomez 2, Johnny Juarez
ROE: Johnny Juarez
HBP: Kyle Jackson
PitchingW: Brendan Hornung
SV: Andrew Eppenbach