There's nothing like JC baseball. The Ventura College baseball team put up 11 runs in the first four innings Tuesday afternoon at LA Mission, only to give up a seven-run sixth inning, falling to the Eagles 12-11. Steele Ledford was 2-5 with a triple and five runs batted in and JT Heade had a pair of hits, two RBI, and scored twice to lead VC (2-2). Dayton Provost and Shane Gipson also recorded two hits each while scoring two runs apiece. Jackson Hokuf limited LA Mission to five runs, four earned in five complete innings in the start.
After a scoreless first inning, the Pirates got in the board in a big way in the second. VC scored five runs in the second inning, with Gipson starting the run parade with an RBI single to score Sam Langler, who had reached base on an error. Heade scored on the following play, then TJ Foreman had an RBI double to score Gipson. Ledford followed with a two-RBI single that drove in both Eric Thrower, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, and Foreman.
The Eagles scored once in the bottom half of the frame to make it 5-1 after two innings of play.
The Pirate offense continued to stack up runs in the third, putting five more up on the board. Rudy Aguilar led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, then Provost singled, moving Aguilar to second. Langler moved the runners over with a ground ball out, then Heade reached base on a fielder's choice while Aguilar scored and Provost moved to third on an error. Provost then scored on a wild pitch, and Gipson walked. After the second out, Foreman reached base on a fielder's choice, with all runners safe to load the bases. Ledford followed with another big base hit, clearing the diamond with a three-RBI triple.
LA Mission countered with two runs in the bottom half of the third inning, but VC still led 10-3.
The Pirates got another run in the fourth when Heade reached first base on an error, scoring Provost, who reached base on a single. After four complete innings, Ventura led LA Mission 11-3.
In the fifth inning, the Eagles got two more runs back to narrow the deficit to 11-5, before the flood gates opened in the sixth. The Pirates used three pitchers in the frame, giving up seven runs, six earned, to trail 12-11 at the end of the inning.
Ventura started the seventh inning with a pair of singles, and left the bases loaded to end the threat, and also loaded the bases in the eighth, but could not score the game-tying run. the Pirates went down in order in the ninth inning to set the final score.
Ventura returns to Pirate Park on Friday Feb. 9 to conclude the two-game set with LA Mission. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm.