The Pirate baseball team spotted visiting Oxnard six runs in the first inning, then nearly completed the comeback in their 10-9 loss to the Condors Tuesday at Pirate Park. VC (5-9, 0-4) had the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, trailing by one run, but could not get the clutch hit to complete the recovery. Hunter Klingelhoffer had three hits, including a double, with two runs scored for Ventura. Elijah Maris recorded a pair of hits, one run scored and three runs batted in.
The Pirates put themselves in a hole against the Condors, giving up six unearned runs in the top of the first inning on just two hits and three Pirate errors. OC scored another run in the third inning before Ventura started their comeback.
In the bottom of the third inning, Riley Langerman and Travis Vaala led off with walks. Maris then singled to load the bases before Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama walked in a run. Gabe Baldovino then reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Vaala. A throwing error on the shortstop on the play also allowed Maris to come around to score and VC trailed 7-3.
Ventura scored another run in the fourth inning. With one out, Alejandro Soto and Langerman each singled. Vaala was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Maris reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Soto.
Ahead 7-4, Oxnard scored two in the fifth and one in the seventh to retake control of the game. But the Pirates were not done yet, and continued the fight.
VC made a game of it with a four-run eighth inning. Klingelhoffer led off with a double and Anthony Chavez knocked him home with a single. Chavez then stole second, Soto walked and Langerman walked to load the bases. Vaala walked in a run, then, after a pitching change, Maris singled home two more runs. VC trailed 10-8 headed to the final column.
In the final frame, Klingelhoffer and Chavez put together back-to-back, one-out singles. Soto reached base on an error that scored Klingelhoffer, and Langerman was intentionally walked to load the bases. Unfortunately for the Pirates, they could not find one more clutch hit, and they fell to defeat, 10-9.
The Pirates and Condors will tangle in the middle game of their three-game set on Thursday Feb. 26 at OC. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm.