The 2020 Pirate baseball season may have been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nation-wide shutdown, but it was not short of drama that is unique to JC baseball. Late-inning heroics, wide run swings, and solid individual performances highlighted the Pirates' 2020 baseball season.
The excitement began on opening day. In the top of the ninth inning, Ventura scored five runs in a two-out rally to defeat Mt. San Jacinto 8-5 for the win. The Pirates held off Santa Ana in their home-opener, 8-6 for a 3-0 start to the season, and they scored three runs in the seventh inning to defeat Citrus 4-3 on Feb. 8. A week later, VC held a 10-0 lead over Canyons after two innings, only to fall behind 15-11 in the middle of the fifth. Not to be denied, Ventura rallied for nine runs in their final four at-bats to post a wild 20-17 victory over the Cougars. On Feb. 29, the Pirates saved a gem by starting pitcher Noah Proffitt by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off rival Oxnard, 3-2.
Sophomore Gabe Baldovino led Ventura at the plate, hitting .341/.415/.512 with team-high's of three home runs and 14 runs batted in. Second-year player Hunter Klingelhoffer had a slugging percentage of .513 with 11 extra-base hits, including eight doubles and three homers, with 10 RBI. Meanwhile sophomore Riley Langerman had 12 RBI and freshman Omar Gastelum hit .344/.406.410 with 10 RBI. Sophomore Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama was also solid at the plate with 24 hits, including seven doubles, hitting .312/.409/.403.
A redshirt sophomore, Proffitt had seven pitching appearance, six of them starts, with a 2-2 record and 19 strikeouts against six walks over 35.1 innings.
Right-handed pitcher Blake Campbell was named the team's Most Valuable Player. The redshirt sophomore from Thousand Oaks led the Pirates with 11 appearances on the mound, including three starts. His 1.88 earned run average led the VC pitching staff and he was second on the team with 28.2 innings pitchers with a team-best 19 strikeouts. He posted a 1-0 record with one save in the abbreviated season.
Gibbons-Matsuyama, a Ventura High School product, was honored as the progam's Scholar Athlete.
|VC Pirate Baseball 2020|
|Team MVP - Blake Campbell|
|Team Scholar Athlete - Tommy Gibbons-Matsuyama|