The wild ride continued Saturday for the VC baseball team as they brought home an 11-6 road victory over Cuesta College. Dayton Provost had a pair of hits, including a double, and four runs batted in to lead a Pirate offense that took advantage of nine walks on the day. Chris McKee also had two hits and scored two runs in the victory. With the win, the Pirates (18-17, 8-7) remain a game out of first place in the Western State Conference race entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Pirates plated one run in the first inning. Steele Ledford walks, Rudy Aguilar singled, and Fabian De La Barcena was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Shane Gipson also drew a base on balls to score Ledford.
The Cougars answered with three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead.
In the second inning, Provost singled home TJ Foreman as VC narrowed the deficit. In the next frame, Eric Thrower had a two-run home run which also scored AJ Medrano and the Pirates took a 4-3 advantage.
Cuesta came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to establish a 6-4 margin, but VC was able to retake the lead with a three-run sixth. With one out, Foreman doubled, went to third on a wild pitch, and eventually scored on another wild pitch. Ledford reached base after being hit by a pitch, as did Aguilar. The two runners advanced 90 feet on another wild pitch, then they both scored on De La Barcena;s two-out double for a 7-6 Ventura lead.
Ventura got two more scores in the seventh inning. McKee doubles and Ledford received a two-out intentional walk before Provost doubled the two base runners home.
In the top of the ninth, the Pirates scored two more runs. McKee started the rally with a one-out single, then Foreman walked. Ledford received an intentional pass before Provost drew a base on balls to score McKee. Aguilar followed with a sacrifice fly to score Foreman and VC led 11-6 going into the final half inning.
Cuesta scored once in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough as Ventura held on for the 11-7 triumph.
Foreman scored three runs with a double and Ledford scored three times with three walks. Thrower and De La Barcena each recorded two RBI in the contest.
With the win, VC keeps pace in the conference race. They sit a game behind first place Santa Barbara and Moorpark, with Hancock and Cuesta each tied for fourth, one game behind the Pirates.
VC closes out the season series with Cuesta on Tuesday April 17. First pitch at Pirate Park is scheduled for 2:30 pm.