|K is for Kalen
Vista’s Kalen Pimentel strikes out 18 in record-setting
After Vista, California’s 7-2 win over Owensboro,
Kentucky, Vista pitcher Kalen Pimentel had to be told
what he had just accomplished.
“I had no idea,” Pimentel said.
What Pimentel had just done was strikeout 18 batters in
a six-inning game, breaking the pool play record of 16
accomplished by Sean Burroughs twice in 1993 and tying
the overall record of 18 held by Chao-An Chan, who
achieved the feat way back in 1979.
“I had no idea I had 18 strikeouts until they came out
and told me after the game that I broke the record,”
said the hard-throwing right-hander.
Who told him he had the record?
“I have no idea,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel must have a good idea of how to pitch, though.
Every out he recorded was a strikeout, fanning the side
in every inning, albeit only in order twice. The only
blips occurred in the first and third inning, when
Pimentel gave up a single run in each frame.
Owensboro’s Brady Flaspoehler hit an RBI-single in the
first and Luke Daugherty hit a bomb over the camera
platform in center field for a solo home run.
“He kept his composure in the first and stayed with it
after the solo home run,” said Vista manager Marty
Miller on Pimentel’s ability to rebound after giving up
runs. “He pitched a fantastic game. He was more or less
Pimentel mixed a super-charged fastball with a tumbling
breaking ball to frustrate the Owensboro hitters on his
way to the record-setting outing.
“His curveball was working very well,” Miller said. “He
threw it more today than I’ve seen him use it simply
because it was working so well.”
Pimentel’s counterpart, Dalton West was also pitching
well early on, striking out four in the first two
frames. But the Owensboro righthander ran into trouble
in the third, when he got touched for seven runs.
Vista’s Danny Vivier lined a leadoff single up the
middle and Nathan Lewis followed with a towering,
two-run shot that cleared the line of fans lounging in
folding chairs in left-center field.
“I was just thinking that we got to do something to get
his game going,” Lewis said of his thoughts at the plate
before he hit the home run. “As soon as I saw the pitch
I was like ‘Oh man.’”
After back-to-back walks and an error loaded the bases,
West gave up and RBI single to Daniel Gibney, who hooked
the ball just fair down the right field line to make the
A passed ball allowed the fourth Vista run to cross the
plate and left runners on second and third with Aaron
Kim at the plate. Kim, who entered the inning in place
of Ryan Gura, hit a three-run homer to right center that
gave Vista a 7-1 lead and chased West from the game.
“I was just being really relaxed, concentrating on every
pitch, not thinking about a home run, just thinking of
base hit,” Kim said. “I saw the pitch and swung hard and
got a home run.”
Reliever Matt Johnson came in and sandwiched a walk and
a single between two strikeouts to end the inning, but
after the seven-run outburst, the damage was done.
“We knew we were going to hit this pitcher the second
time through, that’s the confidence we had,” Miller
said. “I told [the team] we weren’t going to win this
game with one runs, two runs, we had to score some
“Aaron Kim cam through with a big home run, Nate came
through with a home run,” Miller added. “Every game
someone else steps up for us.”
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