Game 6
Great Lakes 2 vs. West 7

Saturday, August 20, 2005
3:00PM ET
Volunteer Stadium

K is for Kalen
Vista’s Kalen Pimentel strikes out 18 in record-setting outing

By Nick Williams

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 vintage Kalen.”

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 score 3-1.

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 runs.”

“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.”

Game Photos


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