The Ventura College baseball team concluded its non-conference docket Saturday afternoon, hosting Orange Coast at Pirate Park. The VC Pirates fell to the state No. 2-ranked OCC Pirates 11-5, ending a rough non-conference week for Ventura as they prepare for the home stretch of the Western State Conference North Division race. T.J. Durfee had a two-RBI triple and scored a run while Bryson Wallet and Rodolfo Aguilar had hits and scored runs. Kaden Betsch had one hit, scored a run and drove in a run. Chris McKee recorded a pair of hits.
Orange Coast scored once in the top of the second inning, and twice in the third before VC (18-17, 8-7) got on the board in the bottom half of the frame. With one out, Betsch singled, then advanced to second when Elijah Alexander grounded out and scored when McKee reached base on an error. Ventura trailed 3-1.
Orange Coast plated two more runs in the fifth inning before blowing the game open with four scores in the top of the seventh.
VC scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to close the gap to 9-4. Aguilar singled to open the frame and Wallet had a one-out single, with the runners advancing an additional 90 feet on an error in the outfield. Durfee then tripled two knock in two runs, and Betsch grounded out to score Durfee.
Orange Coast extended their advantage with single scores in the eighth and ninth innings.
VC scored one run in the bottom of the ninth to set the final margin. Alex Gutierrez singled in the lead-off spot, and went to second base on an error. Two outs later, Jacob Alonzo singled to score Gutierrez.
Despite the rough week of non-conference play, Ventura remains two games out of first place in the crowded Western State Conference North Division with five games remaining. VC, who sits in fourth place in the standings, plays at third-place Cuesta on Tuesday April 18 before playing two-game sets against fifth-place Hancock and first-place Santa Barbara.