The Pirate baseball team had a solid day on the diamond Monday, except for one big inning. VC gave up seven runs on just three hits in the top of the sixth inning in their 13-8 loss to visiting Citrus College at Pirate Park to split the two-game set with the Owls. Fabian De La Barcena had a pair of hits, including a triple, with two runs batted in and a run scored while Chris McKee had a hit, scored once and knocked in three for the Pirates (7-9).
Ventura seemingly had things under control early. They scored three runs i the bottom of the third inning on three hits and two Citrus errors. Steele Ledford, Rudy Aguilar and De La Barcena all scored unearned runs as VC went ahead 3-0.
An inning later, the Pirates were back at it again, scoring two more runs on a Ledford triple and a McKee sacrifice fly, and a Dayton Provost single and a De La Barcena RBI triple. The Pirates led 5-0 after four complete.
Citrus came back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth before Ventura answered with three in the bottom half of the frame. McKee had a two-RBI single, then Aguilar followed with an RBI single for an 8-2 VC advantage.
Then the wheels fell off. Pirate pitchers yielded four walks and had two hit batsmen in giving up seven runs in the top of the sixth. Things got worse in the eighth as Ventura gave up four unearned runs to set the final margin at 13-8.
Ledford had a pair of hits and scored twice while Provost had two hits and score a run. Shane Gipson also had two hits with a run scored as the Pirates recorded 13 hits in the game.
Ryker Kennepoh was solid as the starting pitcher, lasting 4.2 innings and giving up just two runs while striking out six.
Ventura opens Western State Conference play on Tuesday March 6 at Oxnard College. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm against the Condors.