COSTA MESA -- In just under two hours, the Orange Coast College baseball team took care of business on Tuesday, topping visiting Long Beach City College, 9-1, at Wendell Pickens Field.
With a plethora of early-count contact on both sides, the game that featured 10 runs and 15 hits between the two teams, ended in a very tidy 1-hour, 59 minutes.
Despite the quick nature of the game, there was still plenty of drama thrown in, especially during an eighth inning where the Pirate pitching, hitting and defense all played major roles.
With Coast (7-0) up just 4-1 in the top of the eighth, Long Beach (4-3) had runners on first and third with just one out when Tyler Wilber lined a shot toward right-center, but OCC second baseman J.T. Navarro climbed the ladder and snagged the liner for the second out.
Jared Mayeda was hit by a pitch to load the bases, ending starter McKinley LeFore's solid performance. The freshman righty improved to 2-0 as he pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Reliever Ryan Randel made his 2017 debut with the bases loaded and 6-foot-7 Viking slugger Vincent Byrd II at the plate. In a matchup better suited inside the Peterson Gym, the 6-7 Randel won the battle and struck Byrd out to end the threat, keeping OCC in front, 4-1.
Coast's bats then took over and scored five runs on three hits, thanks to an RBI single by Jacob Doty, a two-run single by John Balliet and a two-run home run by Walker Keller. Randel notched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.
Travis Moniot was the Player of the Game for the Pirates, going 3-for-4 with a solo home, run, two doubles, two runs and an RBI, as well as two spectacular diving plays at shortstop. Balliet added three hits, a run and three RBI, while Keller had an RBI ground-out to go along with his two-run HR.
Coast added six more extra-base hits on Tuesday, including two more home runs, giving the Pirates 31 extra-base hits and 10 home runs in just seven games. To put the home runs in perspective, in 36 games last season, the Pirates had just 12 home runs.
On Thursday, the Pirates will host Southwestern College, beginning at 2 p.m.