Buccaneers' Offense Awakens Against Eagles
After batting around in the top of the first, the Ventura County Buccaneers (14-12) kept the pedal down against the Mission Eagles, defeating them 12-3 on the road at Pote Field in Griffith Park Thursday.
Though the non-league match does not count in the standings, the Buccaneers gained momentum by dominating both sides of the ball and winning the season series with the Eagles, 7-1.
Ventura County exhibited the control on the mound that it has been searching for all season, and carried a combined no-hitter into the eighth inning.
Buccaneers’ pitcher Austin Kelly started the game and retired all six batters he faced. He lowered his ERA to 2.83 and now leads the staff in that category among pitchers with more than 20 innings pitched.
N.J. Hunter (2-2), who has been struggling, pitched three innings of no-hit one-run relief and earned the win. Southpaw Colby Vosgien hurled two scoreless innings with four strikeouts decreasing his ERA to 3.47.
As the pitching dismantled the Eagles’ lineup, the Buccaneers’ batters consistently moved runners around the bases. Left fielder Gedeon Ellis extended his hitting streak to six games with a double in the five-run first inning. He is 7-12 with five RBIs in his last three games.
The Buccaneers were patient at the plate which allowed them to keep the lineup moving. Extra hitter Brock Bell reached three times without a hit and scored two runs with two stolen bases.
First baseman Chris Minnick earned two singles and an RBI while scoring twice. He showed his versatility by playing first base and pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Center fielder Nate Martinez stole second and third base in the seventh inning. His 13 stolen bases this summer leads the team.
Ventura County hits the road and begins a three-game league series against the Bakersfield Braves, 5 p.m. Friday, July 19 at North High School in Bakersfield, CA.