Moorpark Raiders leave Antelope Valley Marauders scoreless in both games of the doubleheader


Moorpark Pitcher Colin Mitchell follows through on a pitch to an Antelope Valley batter during the second game of the double header on Saturday, May 22, 2021 in Moorpark, CA. The Raiders defeated Antelope Valley 4-0 in both games. Photo credit: Rachel Franklin

By Ryan Bough

Clear skies and perfect weather paved the way for the Moorpark College Raiders on Saturday as they swept away both games of the double header from the Antelope Valley College Marauders.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Moorpark Pitcher, Cole Kennedy, did not show any mercy to the Marauders as they left game one with zero hits.

Moorpark Head Coach Mario Porto spoke about the significance of a zero hit game for the Raiders.

“It was fun to watch Cole compete and do what we felt he could do. I’m pleased, very pleased for him. It was a good day. I think it’s only the second time since I’ve been here, 30 years, that I’ve been involved with the no hitter,” explained Porto, who believes the last no hitter game Moorpark played was in 1994. “So its quite an achievement. I don’t care if it’s seven innings or nine innings or whatever. It’s a no hitter and it’s a great job.”

After defeating the Marauders 4-0 in the first game, the Raiders had their eye out for gold going into the second game. The first three innings went quickly as a strong defense on both the Raiders and Marauders roster kept the game scoreless.

By the bottom of the fourth, the Raiders were eager to get on the board when a hit from Shane Leong-Griegor got the Raiders close to home.

Moorpark’s Alex Vega stepped up and brought him home with a double, bringing the Raiders on top 1-0. Vega himself was also brought home by a single from Moorpark’s Daniel Jagard, giving the Raiders a 2-0 lead.

Player 5, Shane Leong-Griegor, batting at the Moorpark VS Antelope Valley double header game on May 22.
Moorpark Raider Shane Leong-Griegor swings at a pitch thrown from an Antelope Valley Pitcher during the double header game on Saturday, May 22, 2021 in Moorpark, CA. Photo credit: Audrey Lang

Moorpark Pitcher, Noah Balandran, knew that in order to keep the lead he’d have to keep the Marauders at bay. Balandran had big shoes to fill after taking up the mound after Kennedy’s magnificent no-hit game.

Balandran, along with help from the Raiders defense, was able to keep the Marauders scoreless for the seven innings he pitched, only allowing three hits.

Balandran believed that the team performed outstandingly in the doubleheader and reflected on the season as a whole.

“It’s kind of hard to say what we need to improve on, you know, with the first game being a no hitter and the second game being a shutout,” expressed Balandran who is expected to transfer in the fall. “So it’s been pretty weird two years now, but you know, I’m gonna miss it a lot. But it’s been a fun ride with all these guys.”

In the fifth inning, the Raiders worked tirelessly to try and increase their lead. However, the Marauders had other plans by not allowing any runs, despite the Raiders getting close by having the bases loaded.

Going into the sixth inning, the Raiders hunger for a run was even greater after just barely missing it in the fifth. That hunger was quenched when Daniel Jagard hit a triple and Trevor Sieger brought him home.

The seventh inning was the final inning to see a run after Moorpark Raider Shane Leong-Griegor was brought home from a single by Albert Prado, bringing the score to 4-0 Raiders, where it remained for the rest of the game.

Moorpark Catcher Trent Packard reflected on how the team played on the sunny Saturday afternoon.

“They played hard throughout all 16 innings. Overall, we played strong and we stayed through it, “ said Packard. “I think our defense was the key to the games today. With our no hitter in the first game, we had some very key plays that kept that no hitter in it. And then in the second game, we had some really good plays to keep that zero up on the board.”

The Moorpark Raiders, currently 12-10 overall in the season, will play their final home game of the COVID season on Thursday, May 27, against Allan Hancock.