After trailing by scores of 5-1 and 6-2, the Pirate baseball team made a strong comeback, falling just short in their 6-5 loss at Oxnard on Tuesday afternoon to open Western State Conference North Division play. Steele Ledford was 3-5 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored, and Eric Thrower batted 3-4 with a run batted in for Ventura (7-10, 0-1). Jeff Thoben pitched five solid innings of relief, giving up just one run, to give the Pirates a chance at the comeback.
The Pirates took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ledford singled to lead off the game, then Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama also singled. One out later, Dayton Provost grounded out to score Ledford.
The Condors countered with two runs in the first, and three more in the second before the Pirates settled in, trailing 5-1.
VC crossed the plate once in the fifth as Thrower singled in Sam Langler to cut the deficit to 5-2. OC wasted little time in restoring their advantage with a run in the bottom of the fifth for a 6-2 score.
The Ventura comeback bid started an inning later as Ledford had a one out double, one batter later, Rudy Aguilar delivered a two-out single to score Ledford, making the score 6-3.
The Pirates scored twice more in the eighth inning to make things interesting. Ledford had another one-out double, then Chris McKee followed with a single. Ledford scored on a wild pitch, then McKee came home when Aguilar singled to close the gap to 6-5. Unfortunately for the Pirates, that is where it stayed to end the game.
Aguilar finished with two hits and two RBI on the day while Shane Gipson also recorded two base knocks. VC totaled 16 base hits in the game, but left 10 runners on base in the loss.
Ventura concludes the two game set with Oxnard on Thursday March 8. First pitch at Pirate Park is slated for 2:00 pm.