The Pirate baseball team used a four-run sixth inning to fuel a come-from-behind 8-5 win at Allan Hancock College Saturday. AJ Medrano delivered three hits and three runs batted in on the day, including a 2-RBI single in the decisive frame. Gabe Baldovino also had three hits, including a double, with an RBI and three runs scored in the victory for VC (13-11, 5-4). Jacob Martinez pitched three hitless innings out of the bullpen with three strikeouts to pick up the win.
Ventura got on the board early. Baldovino had a one-out single and advanced to second on an error. Medrano followed with an RBI single, then Zane Chittenden hit an RBI double for a 2-0 Pirate advantage.
The bulldogs came back,hanging a four-spot in the bottom of the third inning, setting the stage for the VC comeback.
In the top of th sixth, Riley Langerman led off with a single. One out later, TJ Foreman was hit by a pitch, then Baldovino walked to load the bases. Medrano came through with the big hit, a two-RBI single, and Chittenden followed with a sacrifice fly to right field. Medrano then stole second and scored when Junior Sandoval reached base on an error. The Pirates left the inning with a 6-4 lead.
Ventura added to the lead with a pair of insurance runs in the top of the eighth. Foreman led off with a hit by pitch, then stole second. Baldovino doubled him home, and went to third base on an error. Two batters later, Sandoval singled home Baldovino for an 8-5 cushion.
AHC scored one run in the bottom of the eighth, but pitcher Noah Bullard settled down to pitch the final six outs to shut the door on the Bulldogs.
Chittenden finished the day with a double and two RBI and Sam Langler also had a pair of hits for VC. Sandoval also had a hit and two runs batted in.
Ventura returns home on Tuesday March 26 to complete the two-game series with the Bulldogs. First pitch is slated for 2:30 pm at Pirate Park.