Sophomore right-hander Jack Bailey of Rancho Santiago College was one out away from recording a shutout against Moorpark when he made a poor pitch.
Bailey hung a changeup to Kris Kaelin who drove it over the right-field fence for the Raiders’ only run Thursday.
Kaelin’s home run was Bailey’s only mistake in an otherwise dominating performance. He pitched a six-hitter as the Dons defeated the Raiders, 5-1, in the second round of the Channel Coast baseball tournament at Moorpark.
Ventura will play host to Rancho Santiago, the defending champion, today at 10 a.m., and Moorpark (16-8) will face the loser of that game at 2 p.m. at Buena High.
At best, the Raiders can finish in a tie for third place in the double-elimination tournament.
Bailey (7-0) thwarted several Moorpark rallies to snap the Raiders’ three-game win streak. Steve Sisco’s 20-game hitting streak also ended after he went hitless in four at-bats.
“He is the best pitcher we have faced,” Moorpark Coach Ron Stillwell said. “It’s frustrating for us, but not as frustrating when they have a guy like him on the mound.”
Despite Bailey’s dominance, Rancho Santiago Coach Don Sneddon said that his pitcher was a little off against Moorpark.
“I have seen him tougher, but it’s hard for any team to run up against Bailey, who is one of the top pitchers in the state,” Sneddon said.
Sophomore right-hander Todd Gerbovaz, off to a rocky start for Moorpark this season, was also effective. He held the Dons to three runs on four hits before Jeff Berman relieved him with two out in the seventh.
“That was the best Todd has pitched in a month,” Stillwell said. “He made a few mistakes and a good-hitting team will make you pay for mistakes.”
Rancho Santiago (16-8) got to Gerbovaz (2-3) in the second inning for two runs on three hits and a Moorpark error.
“I hung a couple of sliders and they killed them,” Gerbovaz said.
Dan Smith tripled to right field in the third but Moorpark left him stranded. The Raiders rallied again in the seventh but failed to score.
Craig Pearson doubled to right to open the inning and advanced to third on Loyd Wood’s infield ground out. Darren Romano walked and stole second to give the Raiders runners at second and third with one out. Kaelin popped out and Darren Aurand walked to load the bases before Bailey struck out pinch-hitter Brian Pearson to end the inning.
Greg Martineau hit a home run to left in the seventh and the Dons added another run on four singles to take a 5-0 lead.