Making his Pirate debut, freshman pitcher Tyler Kennedy threw six strong innings, striking out four and allowing just one run in Ventura's 6-1 win over College of the Desert in Palm Desert. Hunter Klingelhoffer was 3-5 on the day with a double and Gabe Baldovino was 1-3 with a home run along with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama was 2-5 for VC (2-0) with a double and a stolen base.
Kennedy worked out of a jam in the bottom of the first inning. The Roadrunners stranded a pair of runners as a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double-play got the Pirates out of the inning unscathed. Klingelhoffer's one-out double scored Travis Vaala in the top of the second inning for a 1-0 VC lead.
Desert stranded one runner in the second and third innings before Kennedy retired the side in the bottom of the fourth. In the next half-inning, Baldovino went yard to double the Ventura advantage.
COD finally got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Kennedy limited the damage. In the top of the sixth, the Pirates added a pair of scores for a 4-1 lead. Kennedy completed the bottom half of the frame maintaining the advantage.
Blake Campbell took the hill in the bottom of the seventh, and stranded a pair of Roadrunners without giving up a score. He followed with a perfect eighth, and VC iced the game with two more runs in the top of the ninth.
Redshirt sophomore Noah Proffitt returned to the line-up for the first time since 2018 to shut down COD in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Ventura returns to Pirate Park for the home opener on Tuesday Jan. 28. VC will host Santa Ana with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 pm.