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  • Writer's pictureRobert Hollar

Grey Guides Bucs Through Choppy Game 1 Victory

Ventura County catcher Manuel Munoz prepares to swing in a game against the Crescenta Valley Falcons on June 23. - ROBERT HOLLAR June 23, 2019

Ventura County Buccaneers’ extra hitter Jonathan Casteneda faced a defense shifted for him to hit the other way with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Instead he pulled the ball and sparked a two-run rally giving the Bucs (12-12) a 6-5 victory in game 1 and an eventual split of the home doubleheader against the SoCal Hitmen (13-5) at LA Valley College Sunday.

The Bucs trailed game 1, 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth but displayed their offensive talent and grit in the comeback win. The doubleheader split keeps Ventura at .500 this summer.

Buccaneers’ pitcher Trevor Grey inherited a 3-0 deficit when he entered with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the third inning. He earned the first of his five strikeouts to escape the jam.

Grey (2-3) gave his offense a chance with six and a third innings of solid relief. He induced weak contact as the Hitmen popped or grounded out to infielders eleven times against him. He allowed two runs on four hits and earned the win.

Ventura County slowly chipped away but still trailed after Casteneda’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Casteneda stole his seventh base of the season allowing him to advance to third on a single by catcher Manuel Munoz. He scored the tying run on a walk by right fielder Brett Morien. Munoz scored the go-ahead run on a groundout by designated hitter Tony Sahatjian.

Third baseman Andrew Fishman went 3-3 and reached base four times from the leadoff spot in Game 1. His two-RBI single in the seventh inning pulled the Bucs to within a run. shortstop Robbie Treto, who leads the team in home runs, RBIs, and OPS, went 2-4. Munoz was the third Buc to have multiple hits going 2-3 with a sacrifice fly.

The Buccaneers dropped game two, which was only seven innings, 9-4. Ventura pitcher Jerrald Murray hurled a stellar bounce-back outing. He pitched two innings of scoreless relief allowing one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.

Ventura County hits the road for a non-league contest against the Mission Eagles 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 at Pote Field in Griffith Park.

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