Dayton Provost had the kind of day that every young baseball player dreams about. With the Pirates' backs against the proverbial wall, he came through in a big way, batting 5-5, including a two-out, bases-clearing triple and an eighth inning home run, and batted in six runs as VC defeated Santa Barbara 9-7 Tuesday. The victory kept the Pirates' post-season hopes alive, pulling them into a three-way tie for second place with SBCC and Hancock with one game left on the schedule.
Provost singled home Chris McKee in the third inning and the Pirates led 2-0.
Santa Barbara tied the score with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning before the Pirates re-took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Foreman singled, then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Provost cashed in the Vaquero mistake with and RBI single, moving to second base on the throw to the plate. Aguilar followed with another run-scoring single, knocking in Provost for a 4-2 Pirate advantage.
SBCC kept the pressure on the Pirates with two more runs in the top of the sixth, knotting up the score at 4-4.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Pirates answered with four big runs to take control of the game. Eric Thrower, McKee and Foreman all singled to load the bases with two outs. Next up, Provost came up big once again with a triple up the hill in right-center, clearing the bases. Aguilar followed with another RBI single to give Ventura an 8-4 lead.
Santa Barbara attempted to get back into te contest with a two-run seventh, and another score in the eighth to close to within 8-7. In the bottom half of the eighth, Provost provided the final blow, a two-out home run for a huge insurance run, setting the final 9-7 margin.
Noah Proffitt made the start on the mound for the Pirates pitching into the seventh inning giving up six runs, four earned, while striking out six to pick up the win. Jeff Thoben came in for middle relief duty and Sal Delgado picked up the four-out save.
Foreman had a pair of hits and scored three runs in the game while Aguilar had two hits and two RBI. McKee also picked up a pair of hits with two runs scored.
With the victory, the Pirates move into a three-way second-place tie with SBCC and Allan Hancock. The Pirates close the regular season on Thursday April 26 in Santa Barbara at Pershing Park against the Vaqueros while the Bulldogs are at home against Cuesta. Victories by VC and Cuesta would give Ventura sole possession of second place, and increase the Pirates' chances of receiving an at-large bid to the SoCal Regional Playoffs beginning May 4.