This one might be called the one that got away, holding a 7-2 advantage with six outs remaining, the Pirate baseball team fell 7-6 to visiting Moorpark in extra innings after allowing a five-run eighth inning. Dylan Francis pitched a solid six innings, giving up two earned runs with five strikeouts and Brendan Griffith led the offense with a 4-6 day at the plate.
Chris McKee collected two hits, scored a run and drove in a run and stole two bases while Bryson Wallet added two hits, two walks and a run scored. Shane Gipson had two doubles, two RBI, a run scored and two walks and Taylor Campos had a hit, two runs scored, two walks and stole a base. Rodolfo Aguilar had two hits and a walk with an RBI, along with a stolen base and T.J. Durfee had a double and run scored with a stolen base.
After allowing single runs in the second and third innings, VC (10-6, 2-1) came back with one run in the third, three in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, McKee led off with a walk and scored when Aguilar followed with a double for an RBI. Ventura halved the Moorpark lead to 2-1.
Ventura took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Campos and Kaden Betsch led off with consecutive singles. Gipson doubled home Campos, and Betsch scored on a wild pitch on the next batter. McKee then hit a sacrifice fly to score Gipson and the Pirates led 4-2.
In the fifth, VC extended its lead with three more runs. With one out, Wallet singled and Durfee followed with a double. Campos walked to load the bases, and Betsch hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Wallet. With Gipson up to bat, Campos stole second base and Durfee stole home on a double-steal. Then Gipson doubled in Campos and the Pirates had a comfortable 7-2 advantage.
The wheels came off the the Pirates in the eighth, as the bullpen uncharacteristically gave up five runs as the Raiders tied the score. Ventura had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom half of the frame, but a pop-up and a fielder's choice ended the threat. In the ninth, Ventura had runners on the corners with two outs, but could not bring home the winning run.
Moorpark scored once in the top of the tenth, and VC had two base runners in the bottom half, but could not score, giving the Raiders the 7-6 come-from-behind win.
Ventura hosts Citrus n a non-conference game on Sunday March 12 at 1:00 pm before continuing their two-game set with Moorpark on the road Tuesday March 14.