The Pirate baseball team scored a run in the bottom of the first inning Monday against Rio Hondo and made it stand up for eight more innings, giving up a two-run ninth to the Roadrunners in their 2-1 setback at Pirate Park. Gabe Baldovino singled to lead off the game and came around to score two batters later, and the Pirate pitching of Jacob Martinez, Oscar Magana, Travis Nelson and Vincent Fashano held Rio Hondo scoreless before the 'Runners' rally in their final at bat.
After Baldovino's lead-off hit, Jacob Harris singled and both runners advanced 90 feet on a throw from the outfield. Riley Langerman then grounded out to the shortstop, scoring Baldovino, and Ventura (7-13, 2-7) to the early 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, that would be the only offense the Pirates would generate all day. VC had two on in the third with a two-out walk by Harris followed by a single by Langerman, and Klingelhoffer led off the fourth with a base hit, but was caught trying to steal second base.
Ventura's best chance to score came in the sixth inning. With one out, Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama and Klingelhoffer had back-to back singles, and they both moved into scoring position on Anthony Chavez's chopper to short. But the Pirates were unable to come up with the clutch hit and they stranded two runners.
Martinez was solid in the start on the mound for VC, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing five hits while walking on and striking out five. Magana, Nelson and Fashano each threw a scoreless inning,leaving the Pirates three outs away from victory headed to the ninth.
Ventura will travel to Whittier on Thursday March 12, weather permitting, to continue the three-game set with Rio Hondo. The series concludes at Rio Hondo on Saturday March 14.