Ventura let a 3-2 lead slip away in the middle innings, and could not plate the tying run from scoring position in the bottom of the ninth in their 5-4 loss to visiting Cuesta College Saturday at Pirate Park. Tony Fonzo had two hits and two RBI and Michael Volaski also had t a pair of hits with one RBI for Ventura.
Ventura (4-13, 1-7) took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Bradley Fullerton led off the game being hit by a pitch and advancing to first base. Dylan Colman singled Fullerton to second, and Fonzo's single brought him home for a 1-0 lead.
The Cougars tied the game in the top of the fifth inning before VC retook the advantage in the bottom half of the frame. Colman led off the inning with a walk, and two pop-up outs later, Volaski doubled him around the bases to score.
Cuesta took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but the Pirates were able to even things up in the bottom half. Erick Allegro reached first base on an error and stole second. Ryan Coker also reached on an error and Codi Santana singled to load the bases with no outs. Fullerton grounded into a double play, but Allegro scored on the play to tie the score.
Cuesta scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to take a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth. The Pirates rallied, with Fullerton drawing a lead-off walk. Colman grounded into a fielder's choice, and Josh Olson replaced him at first base. Fonzo doubled in Olson, and became the tying run at second base, but VC was unable to garner a hit in their last two at bats, falling 5-4.
Colton Follett pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs while striking out four. Tyler Esquivel finished the sixth inning on the mound, and Jeff Schwartz threw a scoreless inning in relief. Billy Davidson and Alex Van Es each gave up a run in one inning of work.
Ventura next hosts Santa Barbara at 2:30 pm on Tuesday March 10 at Pirate Park.