The Ventura County Buccaneers (11-13, 10-10 league) hosted the Arroyo Seco Royals at Los Angeles Valley College on Sunday, slugging their way to a score reminiscent of football.
The Bucs headed into their matchup having dropped their previous five games, not having won since their narrow victory over the OC Pirates.
The Bucs hoped to put those problems in the rearview mirror, as they called on right-hander Jameson Johnstone (W, 2-0) to make his second start of the season. After pitching five stellar innings in his first start, Johnstone continued where he left off in the first two innings, striking out three in that span.
After the Royals scored 3 in the third, The Bucs responded on offense, blowing those three runs out of the water with seven of their own in the bottom of the third inning, capped off by a three-run home run by first baseman Jack Bickerton.
“I’m just trying to do my job when I’m at the plate. Whether it’s putting the ball in play, or making something happen, I just try to do what I can,” Bickerton said.
After the third inning, Johnstone was able to go one more inning before turning the ball over to the bullpen. In his start, Johnstone finished as the victor, throwing 4 IP, allowing 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K while tossing just 59 pitches.
Both the Bucs and Royals would be held scoreless through the next two innings, until the Bucs came back with five runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning, increasing their lead to 12-3. After the Royals came back with two runs of their own in the eighth inning, the Bucs would tack on another two runs, increasing their lead to 15-5 and putting the game out of reach.
The Bucs overall as a team collected 20 hits on offense, and posted an incredible team batting average of .500 and an outstanding team OPS of 1.143.
The Bucs will be back again on Wednesday, as they travel out to Cal State Los Angeles to face the SoCal Saints, with first pitch scheduled for 4:00 p.m.