Saints Win Season Opener 11-5 against Ventura County

PASADENA, CA – The Arroyo Seco Saints took their 2023 home opener in convincing fashion Thursday night against the Ventura County Pirates. While the air cooled down as the night went on in Jackie Robinson Memorial Stadium, the Saints’ bats certainly heated up. A rally towards the back end of the matchup was led by the bat of Saints’ third baseman AJ Ortiz (Biola), as his two extra-base hits played a crucial role in the teams’ 11-5 victory.

In his first appearance of the 2023 campaign, Saints’ pitcher Bradley Mullan (Gonzaga) pitched a strong two innings for the ball club. In his two innings pitched, the left-hander allowed only one hit while striking out three batters.

The teams’ offense provided run support early, as Julian Alvarez (Cal Baptist) was able to round the bases in the first. Alvarez set the tone early in this game with a rope down the first base line, earning himself a double early in his 2023 campaign.

The Saints then began their inning-by-inning pitching rotation in the third, bringing in Brayden Matthews (Walters State). Walters pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout. The strikeouts continued with the Saints’ next pitcher, Kevin Warunek (Longwood), as the left-hander stepped in and struck out three batters in a scoreless fourth inning.

After adding another run in the third inning, the team showed great patience behind the plate in the fourth. Saints’ batters were walked five times in the inning, bringing in two much-needed runs for the team.

Facing a four-run deficit at the midway point in the game, the Pirates needed to get something rolling fast. After a SportsCenter Top 10 play by centerfielder Dan Laughery in the bottom of the fourth, the Pirates found their bats. A single by Artin Biageyian and a double by Quintt Landis gave Ventura County a spark they desperately needed. A three-run fifth inning, followed by a sixth inning where they grabbed a run, and this ballgame was tied heading into the seventh inning

After a productive seventh-inning stretch for the Saints’, the AJ Ortiz show began. Ortiz’s double into centerfield in the seventh drove in the Saints’ first run of the inning.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing,” the third baseman answered when asked what it meant to him to play this close to home in front of friends and family. “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do it.”

Hayden Lewis (Arizona) would later drive Ortiz in with a single. The Saints would go on to score three in the inning.

The bats stayed hot in the eighth. With runners on base early in the inning, Ortiz roped a liner into the right-centerfield gap. The double would score Saints runners James Nelson (Longwood) and Preston Godfrey (New Mexico State). Ortiz would score later in the inning after another single by the Saints’ leadoff hitter Julian Alvarez.

While the Saints’ offense was doing its job, the defense took care of business. Pitchers Gilbert Lopez (Biola) and Cade Swenson (New Mexico State) both pitched scoreless innings for the squad.

To wrap up this ballgame, head coach Aaron Milam sent Pasadena native Aaron Treloar to the mound. Treloar ended the game for the Saints, putting them in the win column to start the season.

The Saints open up league play Friday with a road game at the Orange County Riptide. Picking up a home win is exactly what the team was looking to do heading into CCL play. First pitch for Friday’s action is set for 7:00 pm PST.

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  • Saints Reporter Bennett Snyder (Ohio University)
  • Saints Photographer Sonny Tapia (Cal State University of Long Beach)





Aaron Milam | (626) 695-6903 |
Nick Gorman | (805) 252-7954 |

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