Dos Pueblos sophomore second basemen Zach Gesswein runs out infield single. | Credit: Victor Bryant

The goal for the Dos Pueblos baseball team is to finish in the top four of the Channel League standings and earn an automatic berth into the CIF playoffs, but a 17-9 loss to Ventura on Tuesday was a major setback.

The visiting Cougars scored eight of their 17 runs in the top of the fifth inning to pull away from the Chargers, but with Rio Mesa losing as well Dos Pueblos is still in position to make the playoffs with a win over Ventura in the rematch on Thursday.

“We still have a chance. We control our destiny. We did a lot of good things today,” said Dos Pueblos coach George Hedricks. “That’s kind of the opposite of what we’ve done all year as  far as we’ve pitched and played great defense all year and our offense has been something we’ve struggled with, although the last three games we’ve really gotten to where we need to be.”

Dos Pueblos was led offensively by Kevin Wirtz, who went 3-for-4, including a bases-clearing triple in the Chargers’ five-run third inning that put them ahead 7-3. 

However, Ventura scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning and eight runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 14-8 lead that was too much for Dos Pueblos to overcome.

Sophomore Wylan Nelson went 2-for-2 with a triple and five RBI’s for Ventura. He was also hit by two off-speed pitches. 

“We’ve been struggling all year, especially with two outs. We’ve just been working and these guys finally started to put it together,” said Ventura coach Anthony Espitia. “I told them last week every game is a playoff game for us because we buried ourselves early and they just keep playing hard.”

Dos Pueblos (14-12 overall, 6-7 Channel League) will host Santa Maria in a non-league contest for Senior Day on Wednesday before traveling to Ventura (13-14 overall, 5-8 Channel League) with a playoff berth on the line on Thursday.


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