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Offense and defense falter in 3-0 loss to Ventura

Boston Hubbard tags out Steele Ledford on a steal attempt in the fifth inning. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Boston Hubbard tags out Steele Ledford on a steal attempt in the fifth inning. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Noah Proffitt tossed a five-hit shutout and SBCC committed four errors on Tuesday in a 3-0 WSC North baseball loss to Ventura at Pershing Park.

It was the sixth straight loss for the Vaqueros (13-15, 4-4) and the first time they've been shut out this year. Ventura (15-14, 5-4) scored unearned runs in the third, sixth and ninth innings to win for the fourth time in five games.

Brett Vansant, a 6-foot-9 sophomore right-hander, pitched well enough to win for Santa Barbara. He allowed two unearned runs on six hits in 6.1 innings, striking out five and walking one.

"We gave up three unearned runs and lost to a guy who was averaging four or five innings a start," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. "Give him credit, he threw strikes."

Ventura took a 1-0 lead in the third when Steele Ledford (3-5) hit a one-out double down the left-field line and scored when first baseman Jake Holton couldn't handle a grounder by Dayton Provost. They made it 2-0 in the sixth when Shane Gipson reached on an error and scored on a single by AJ Medrano.

The Vaqueros managed just three singles and four baserunners in the first six innings. John Jensen singled with one out in the ninth but Proffitt got a 4-6-3 double play to end it.

"The overall effort was probably the most disappointing thing," Walker stated. "We looked like a defeated team. Tip your cap to them, they made the plays and we didn't.

"This looked like a hangover from last week (when the Vaqueros dropped three straight games after leading in the eighth and ninth). Brett pitched well and so did Yeager George (1 unearned run, 4 strikeouts in 2.2 innings). We don't need guys to step up, we just need them to show up."

The Vaqueros will play two more home games in the next two days. They'll host first-place Moorpark (5-2) in a rain makeup on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., then take on Hancock on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

Andrew Nardi, a 39th-round MLB draft pick of the New York Yankees, is expected to start for Moorpark on Wednesday. The sophomore left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 43.2 innings.