Steven Ledesma threw a four-hitter on Tuesday and Wes Ghan-Gibson went 4 for 4, as SBCC downed Ventura 5-1 to clinch a baseball playoff berth for the sixth straight year.
Nick Allman went 3-4 with a single, double and triple for the Vaqueros (18-16, 15-7 WSC North), who won their fourth in a row and eighth in the last 10 games. They also moved within a game of first-place Cuesta, which dropped a 7-6 decision at Oxnard.
The Vaqueros have finished first or second in the WSC North for six straight seasons.
Ledesma gave up an inside-the-park homer to Bryson Wallet, tying the game at 1 in the second inning. A former quarterback and pitching star at Ventura High, Ledesma held the Pirates (17-17, 10-12) to one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.
The UCSB-bound Ledesma (7-3) is No. 2 in the state with 95 strikeouts.
Santa Barbara took a 2-1 lead in the third when Ghan-Gibson singled and scored on an error.
First baseman Jake Gagain, a sophomore from Lithia, Fla., continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the fifth that boosted the lead to 4-1. Connor Clark drew a two-out walk before Gagain’s blast. Gagain has hit safely in seven straight and 19 of his last 20 games. He’s batting .418 in his last four games and has reached base safely in 20 straight games.
“Ledesma pitched great and we got good production from the bottom of the order,” said coach Jeff Walker. “We swept Ventura in WSC play (4-0) and I don’t know the last time that’s happened.
“More importantly, we clinched our sixth straight playoff berth and moved within a game of Cuesta with two to play.”
Cuesta (16-6) finishes with a two-game set vs. last-place L.A. Pierce on Thursday and Friday.
The Vaqueros travel to Hancock on Thursday, then host the Bulldogs on Friday in their final regular-season game at 2:30 p.m.