Opponents of the Ventura College baseball team this spring have experienced the competitive equivalent of death by a thousand cuts.
The Pirates may not have last year's slugging trio of Jose Vargas, Brett Fick and Zack Anderson, but it doesn't mean they aren't scoring runs in bunches this season.
In fact, after Wednesday's wins over Los Angeles Valley and Barstow by a combined 35-7 margin, Ventura (17-11) is threatening its school record by averaging 9.6 runs per game.
"We're not the same power team, but we can hit," said coach Donnie Adams. "We don't look that impressive. We just kind of single you to death."
Ventura is averaging about 11 hits per game. And about nine of them are singles.
Seven regulars are hitting better than .300, including A.J. Gallardo (.393), Reynoldo Garcia (.388), Garrett Rau (.378), Collin LaVoie (.348), Joe Ramirez (.341), Blair Walters (.340) and Brandon Young (.314).
"It's definitely been a team effort," said Adams.
Which has enabled the Pirates to record the biggest victories in program history over each of its county rivals. Ventura beat Moorpark 29-1 on March 17 and Oxnard 28-8 on Saturday.
"It was just one of those days," said Adams of Saturday's win.
Beginning with the Oxnard series, Ventura has won five straight, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Which snapped a seven-game winning streak. Which snapped a three-game losing streak.
Get the picture?
"We've definitely been on a roller coaster," said Adams.
If Ventura can smooth out the road, it still has plenty of postseason possibilities. Sitting in third place of the Western State Conference's North Division at 9-8, Ventura is four games behind 13-4 Cuesta and two games behind 11-6 Hancock.
"We have to get ahead of (Hancock) because we won the series," said Adams. "That's going to make it even tougher."
Second place comes with an automatic playoff berth and the division's past three third-place finishers have also made the Southern California regional playoffs.
Which makes Friday's visit of Los Angeles Mission and Saturday's trip to Glendale, both potential third-place finishers in the WSC South, all the more important.
"Those will be big games because they can affect seeding," said Adams. "We have to try to up our non-conference record."
Adams may want to try to convince his singles hitters that they're going up against a county foe.