The Pirate baseball team scored five runs in the final three innings to turn a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 walk-off victory over visiting Victor Valley Tuesday in VC's 2019 home opener. AJ Medrano and Hunter Klingelhoffer homered in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, and Zane Chittenden had a 1-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to walk off the Rams. Sal Delgado pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the victory for the Pirates (1-2).
A Pirate error led to a Victor Valley run in the top of the first inning. They got it back in the bottom half of the frame, however, when TJ Foreman and Gabe Baldovino both singled to open the game, then Foreman scored when AJ Medrano reached base on a fielder's choice.
The Rams moved back in front with two runs in both the third and fourth innings, setting up VC's late-inning heroics.
In the bottom of the seventh, Baldovino drew a 1-out walk and Medrano followed with a two-run blast to pull VC to within 5-3.
An inning later, Klingelhoffer led off with a solo home run to close the gap even more.
In the bottom of the ninth, Foreman led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. Baldovino sacrificed him into scoring position. Medrano followed with an RBI single, advancing to second on the throw to the plate, and to third when the throw went past the catcher. With the infield playing in with one out, Chittenden singled home Medrano for the game-winning score.
Blake Campbell made the start on the mound for VC, pitching three complete innings and yielding three runs, all earned, with two strikeouts. Ryker Kennepohl pitched two outs into the fourth, giving up a pair of runs before Sergio Linares righted the ship with 2.1 scoreless frames with four punch-outs. Jeff Thoben, Brent Dickey and Delgado all pitched scoreless frames to close out the game for Ventura.
The Pirates' next have a road trip scheduled to the high desert on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2. Weather permitting, they are slated to play a double-header at Cerro Coso College in Ridgecrest on Friday before playing a single game at Barstow on Saturday.