Moorpark shutout by Santa Barbara 3-0 in their final home game of the 2022 season.


Moorpark Outfielder Michael Jester slideing into home in the 2nd inning vs Santa Barbra on April 29, 2022, at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Nathan Hafner

By Nathan Hafner

On Thursday, April 29, the Moorpark Raiders took on the Santa Barbara Vaqueros in their final home game of the season. The Raiders had right-handed pitcher Cody Carson on the bump to start the game and the Vaqueros had left-handed pitcher Colby Downard starting.

In his first three innings of work, Carson looked sharp for the Raiders, holding the Vaquero’s offense in check. However, the action would pick up in the Vaquero’s favor in the fourth. Following a walk, a single and a fielder’s choice would set the table for Vaquero’s infielder Mark Hernandez to put Santa Barbara up 2-0 with a clutch double.

Unfortunately for the Raiders’ offense, this would loom large over the rest of the game. The Raiders found ways to get on base throughout the game but could not execute when it mattered.

Moorpark’s shortstop Shane Leong-Grieger summed up how he felt about his performance at the plate and the performance of Downard.

“For me personally, I was seeing the ball well against him,” said Leong-Grieger. “It’s just that aspect of just swinging at pitches and getting anxious swinging at pitches that you shouldn’t have.”

Downard looked to protect the lead. In 6.2 solid innings of work, he kept the Raiders’ offense at bay while only giving up four hits and allowing zero runs. He would exit in the seventh inning and be replaced by RHP Noah Bullard. Bullard stopped the pressure in the seventh with runners at first and second, striking out pinch hitter Dylan Swanson to end the inning.

After the game, Downard was asked how he felt about his start and the overall performance of his teammates.

“I really focused a lot on just trying to get ahead as much as possible,” said Downard. “Whatever pitch it was, a lot of them just usually froze on a curveball, so I just start that and then try to sneak in a fastball or just go with a curveball again.”

On the other hand, Carlson battled for the raiders and gave everything he had, going seven strong innings allowing three hits and two runs. Next in line out of the Raider’s bullpen in the eighth was LHP Parker Almeida pitching 1.0 inning in relief, allowing one hit and one unearned run.

Almeida would be followed by RHP Andrew Tarazon, finishing the game for the Raider’s bullpen, pitching the ninth tossing one inning of scoreless relief, just allowing a walk while striking out one.

Tarazon spoke about his pitching strategy after the game.

“I mean, we were down. There’s really nothing I can do but throw strikes to try to get us back in up to bat as soon as I could,” said Tarazon.

Later in the eighth inning, the Vaqueros would extend their lead to 3-0 on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Pearce Blaney, scoring the second baseman Matty Fung. It would be all the Vaqueros would need to finish off the Raiders and clinch the victory on the road.

In the bottom of the ninth, in their final opportunity at the plate, the Raider’s hopes would be crushed by RHP Charlie Adamson closing the game and earning his second save of the year.

Santa Barbra City College celebrating the shutout victory over Moorpark college 3-0 on April 29, 2022, at Moorpark College.
Santa Barbra City College celebrating the shutout victory over Moorpark college 3-0 on April 29, 2022, at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Nathan Hafner

After the game, Raiders Head coach Mario Porto discussed the lack of offense during their final game at home.

“We had two times to bunt but couldn’t get it done either time, and you know, so that hurt us, but their pitchers threw well, kept us off balance. We didn’t hit when we needed to hit,” said Porto.

This loss brought the Raiders’ overall season record to 16-23. The Raiders wrapped up the 2022 season on Saturday, April 30, at Ventura College with another loss to Ventura college 11-1, which ended the Raiders’ season with a record of 16-24.