Buccaneers Soar Over Eagles
—GRIFFITH PARK— Ventura County Buccaneers’ center fielder Nathan Martinez rounded first base in the top of the ninth inning as his tailing blooper hit the right field grass driving in the go-ahead run. His double proved to be the difference in the Buccaneers’ 4-3 road victory over the Mission Eagles in their non-league matchup Tuesday at Pote Field in Griffith Park.
Ventura’s grit in the victory is a promising sign for the squad, as the Buccaneers (13-12) coaching staff has spent the summer making the ability to come from behind a part of the team identity.
The Buccaneers needed two separate two-out rallies to escape with the win. In the seventh, first baseman Lee Brandzel and second baseman Andrew Fishman walked to load the bases and turn the lineup over for left fielder Gedeon Ellis. Ellis punched a two-RBI single into right field to tie the game, 3-3.
Ellis went 2-3 at the plate and reached base three times. He saw 18 pitches in his first three at-bats which helped deplete the Eagles pitching staff. He is now second on the team with a .375 batting average and 10 RBIs.
Right fielder Chris Minnick also scored on the Ellis single after walking earlier in the inning. Minnick was 2-3 with a double and four stolen bases. His nine stolen bases this year are the second most on the team behind Martinez, who has 11.
Pitcher Jacob Mark entered to begin the eighth inning and retired the Eagles in order with two strikeouts in the ninth inning to earn the win. Mark (2-1) is tied for the team lead in wins and his 27 strikeouts are the most of any pitcher on the staff. He also leads the Buccaneers with 27.1 innings pitched.
Ventura County and the Eagles stay at Pote Field in Griffith Park to conclude the two-game set 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 17.