Raiders render the Brahmas scoreless in a victory over LA Pierce

Sophomore+Leighton+DeMello+makes+contact+with+a+pitch+during+the+Raiders%27+home+game+against+Pierce+College+on+Saturday%2C+Feb.+29.+DeMello+ended+the+game+with+one+run+from+three+at-bats.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Sophomore Leighton DeMello makes contact with a pitch during the Raiders' home game against Pierce College on Saturday, Feb. 29. DeMello ended the game with one run from three at-bats. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Josh Surmani

The Moorpark Raiders defeated the Pierce College Brahmas with a massive 5-0 win on Saturday. The victory was made possible by freshman Albert Prado, sophomore Patrick Valdez and freshman Daniel Jagard. The Raiders remained adamant about being involved in the game, on and off the field.

After seven pitched innings, freshman Braden Ashmore spoke about the Raiders’ mindset entering tough games.

“We take every game the same, we pretend we’re 0-0 every game so we’re going to go into it with the same mentality, take good at-bats, throw strikes and try to get a win,” Ashmore said.

Freshman Braden Ashmore winds up a pitch during Moorpark's home game against Pierce College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Ashmore pitched seven innings.
Freshman Braden Ashmore winds up a pitch during Moorpark's home game against Pierce College on Saturday, Feb. 29. Ashmore pitched seven innings. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Moorpark and LA Pierce battled until the bottom of the third and fourth inning when the Raiders were able to score two runs from Jagard and sophomore Leighton DeMello, one in each inning.

Three more runs came along later in the game during the bottom of the seventh inning. From then on the Raiders maintained the heat throughout their pitching game. Pierce College earned several hits but each was contained and defended with little visual effort.

Sophomore Patrick Valdez dives back to safety at first base during Daniel Jagard's at-bat on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Moorpark College. Moorpark faced off against LA Pierce, winning 5-0.
Sophomore Patrick Valdez dives back to safety at first base during Daniel Jagard's at-bat on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Moorpark College. Moorpark faced off against LA Pierce, winning 5-0. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Moorpark’s bullpen played a key role in the win, with sophomore Carson Stanfield facing seven batters and Ashmore facing 27. Both helped to secure the win behind the great defense of their teammates.

Assistant Coach for Moorpark, Tom Vessella, was questioned if he felt comfortable with the bullpen’s power this season.

“Yes, especially if they can do what they did today, we’ve only used three bullpen arms this week and that’s exciting,” Vessella said. “If your starters do what they do, your bullpen is a whole lot better, although it is a staff effort.”

Freshman Carson Stanfield launches a pitch during the Raiders' game against the Pierce College Matadors on Saturday, Feb. 29. Stanfield closed out the game for the Raiders on the mound.
Freshman Carson Stanfield launches a pitch during the Raiders' game against the Pierce College Brahmas on Saturday, Feb. 29. Stanfield closed out the game for the Raiders on the mound. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Vessella is excited about the upcoming schedule as the Raiders look to bounce back from their recent slump. The last two weeks have proven to be a challenge for the Raiders, with a couple losing streaks followed by some wins. However, the Raiders may be on their way to a comeback with Moorpark’s record currently standing at a stable 10-7.

“We’ve been really motivated especially once the season started, we kind of turned it up and went on a tear early and then you lose a couple of games,” stated Vessella. “But we’ve actually came back and been really excited to play baseball every day and that’s all we really want as a coaching staff.”

Sophomore Patrick Valdez rounds third on his way home from a Trent Packard RBI on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Moorpark's home game against Pierce College. Packard also allowed sophomore Alex Vega to make it home for a two point play.
Sophomore Patrick Valdez rounds third on his way home from a Trent Packard RBI on Saturday, Feb. 29, in Moorpark's home game against Pierce College. Packard also allowed sophomore Alex Vega to make it home for a two point play. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The Moorpark Raiders were able to dominate Pierce College and prevent them from scoring runs. The determination Moorpark held was a force to be reckoned with, exhibiting the power that the team may have in store for this season.

When asked about expectations for the remainder of the season Vessella responded, “As long as we keep competing like were trying to win a conference championship that’s our goal every year, so if anything it’s well within reach so let’s see if we can get into the playoffs.”

Freshman Daniel Jagard, scored a triple in the bottom of the seventh, receiving two RBI’s, addressed the team’s current standings, as well as aspirations for future games.

“Honestly it’s been a good run this year, I feel like we’re a good team overall,” Jagard expressed. “We got good players, got good pitchers, so I think we’ll have a good season.”

The next home game will bring the Raiders to face-off against East Los Angeles College on Thursday, March 5 at 2 p.m.