The Pirate baseball team got back on track with a 5-4 victory at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria Thursday Brendan Griffith had two hits with an RBI and two runs scored and Kaden Betsch knocked out a pair of hits with two runs batted in to lead VC (19-18, 9-8). Justin Friedman scattered 10 hits through seven innings, allowing three runs while striking out six to pick up his seventh win of the season. Taylor Campos picked up his third save with two frames of relief work.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning with textbook baseball. Griffith and Bryson Wallet led off with consecutive singles and Elijah Alexander sacrificed the two into scoring position. Betsch followed with a two-RBI single for the early Pirate advantage.
Ventura stretched the margin to 5-0 in the third inning. With one out, Rodolfo Aguilar singled, followed by a one-bagger by Blake Chiaramonte. Griffith cashed in Aguilar with another single. Following the second out, Alexander singled in Chiaramonte, with Griffith moving to third base on the play. During Betsch's at bat, a pitch got passed the Bulldog catcher, and Griffith scored on the play.
Hancock scored once in the fourth inning, and two more times in the seventh to narrow the gap. They also plated a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Campos closed the door with the potential tying run on second base for the 5-4 Pirate victory.
The win ends a six-game slide for the Pirates, five of which were non-conference contests. VC remains alive for a second place finish in the Western State Conference North Division and has an outside shot at sharing the conference crown with three games remaining on the schedule.
Ventura returns to Pirate Park on Saturday April 22 to close out the season series against Hancock before playing Santa Barbara twice next week.