The Pirate baseball team score three runs in each of the first two innings Tuesday afternoon on a perfect day at Pirate Park, and held off a late charge from Santa Ana in their 8-6 home-opening victory. Riley Langerman had a pair of hits, including a double, with three runs batted in and a run scored while Gabe Baldovino, Omar Gastelum, and Elijah Maris also recorded two hits each. Noah Proffitt picked up the win scattering eight hits over five innings, giving up two runs while striking out three for Ventura (3-0).
In the opening frame, Langerman had a two-RBI double to score Travis Vaala and Baldovino. Gastelum followed with a one-out single to score Langerman and VC led 3-0.
The Pirates followed up with three more runs in the second inning. Hunter Klingelhoffer had a one-out double and Maris followed with a single, then stole second. Vaala walked to load the bases and Baldovino and Langerman each had RBI singles. Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama had a sacrifice fly and the Pirates held a 6-0advantage.
The Dons responded with two runs in the third inning, but Proffitt settled back in to pitch through the fifth inning allowing no further damage. Blake Campbell came on and pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
The Pirates scored one insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Maris doubled and Vaala walked before Langerman reached base on a run-scoring error.
The Pirates almost broke down in the eighth, allowing four Santa Ana runs. The Pirates held a slim 7-6 lead going into the bottom half of the frame when the scored another insurance run. Gastelum and Adrian Sandoval led off with back-to-back singles, and Harris reached base on a run-scoring error for an 8-6 Pirate lead.
Arman Muradian closed the game out with a scoreless ninth to move Ventura to 3-0 on the season.
Ventura returns to Pirate Park on Saturday Feb. 1, hosting Los Angeles Mission College at 12:00 noon.