Coming in hot after closing out the Fullerton series and riding a two-game win streak, the Pirates next test is the formidable Cypress Chargers.
The Chargers were having an electric 2020 before the season was scrapped. The team held a remarkable (17-3-1) record, and was (4-1) in conference play. The team was a hitting powerhouse combining for a team on base plus slugging of .923.
Freshman Mario Tostado was a juggernaut for the Chargers as he posted an unfathomable 1.352 OPS over 61 plate appearances, in which he sent the ball out of the park five times. His impressive array of stats helped boost Tostado to the No.1 spot on the OOTP player rankings.
In game one of the sim series, it looked as if the Pirates had found a way to silence the Chargers. With sophomore Jake Lopez returning to the mound, the Pirates had managed to hold Cypress scoreless through the first five innings while scoring a trio of runs in the second inning following another triple by freshman Nolan Funke.
However, the sixth inning was a nightmare as the Chargers bounced Lopez off of the mound by blowing the game open and scoring six runs before the Pirates could even find the second out of the inning. Freshman Kelly Austin would come in to relieve Lopez and ultimately stopped the bleeding in the sixth.
Runs in the seventh and the eighth would bring the Pirates back within one in what had been a slugfest to this point. Another disaster struck in the eighth with the Chargers tacking on another seven runs.
With a now commanding 13-5 lead the game looked all but over. Then the Pirates began to rally once more in the bottom of the ninth, clawing back with five runs of its own, but the comeback wasn’t meant to be.
Game two got off to a much quieter start as sophomore Jack Noble held the Chargers in check through seven, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out eight. Coast wouldn’t find the scoreboard until freshman Cary Arbolida’s single scored sophomore Ryan O’Halloran in the eighth.
The Chargers stretched its lead to 4-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, leaving the Pirates to once again attempt a comeback. Sophomore David Morgan helped the Pirates score once in the ninth on a sac fly, but once again it would fall at the hands of the Chargers.
Already losing its second game of the series, the Pirates came into game three struggling to connect with the baseball. The team only managed four hits throughout and gave up 11 to the Chargers.
In one of the oddest box scores I’ll ever see in baseball, the Pirates surprisingly won the third contest 13-7. Cypress suffered nightmarish control issues walking 12 Coast batters throughout the course of the game, nine of which came in the first three innings where the Pirates scored 10 runs on two hits and an error.
Sophomore Michael Ryhlick was credited with the win giving Coast 6.2 innings of work in which he struck out six and gave up seven hits.
It wasn’t a pretty result whatsoever, but the game helped the Pirates salvage a victory, bringing its record to (15-11) on the season, and (6-5) in conference play. With two series now out of the way, the Pirates must remain consistent if the team wants to find its way to the top of the tightly contested Orange Empire Conference.