COSTA MESA -- An early deficit by the Orange Coast College baseball team was quickly turned around by one big swing of the bat and from there, the Pirates held on for an 8-6 win over Saddleback College on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field, completing a three-game Orange Empire Conference sweep over the Gauchos.
After Saddleback turned two hits and a pair of Pirate errors into four runs in the top half of the fourth inning, Coast responded in the bottom of the frame. Trailing, 5-2, a pair of infield singles by J.T. Navarro and Travis Moniot was followed with a single up the middle by Eric Wagaman, loading the bases with nobody out.
Robert Teel lifted a sacrifice fly to score Navarro and trim the deficit to 5-3 before Jake Scott erased the deficit by launching a three-run home run to left field, putting Coast (19-2, 6-0 in OEC) ahead, 6-5.
The Gauchos (14-8, 2-4) quickly evened things back up in the top of the fifth, but the Pirates again returned the favor in the bottom of the inning. Nolan Powers singled to center to start things off and after a ground out by Navarro moved him to second, Moniot lined a triple down the right-field line to score Powers and push OCC back out in front, 7-6. Two batters later, Teel scored Moniot with an RBI-single to center to make it 8-6.
Blair Lewis (2-0) settled things down for the Pirates and allowed just one run on one hit over 3 1/3 innings to pick up the win in relief. Kyle Robeniol wiggled out of a two-out jam in the eighth before Ryan Randel retired three straight for his fourth save of the season.
Coast's bats came out in force on Saturday with 14 hits, with six players (Moniot, Wagaman, Teel, Scott, Navarro and John Balliet) coming through with two hits apiece.
The Pirates will open up a three-game series against Cypress, beginning on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Cypress College. OCC will host the Chargers for Game 2 on Thursday (2 p.m.) with the series finale set for Friday at 2 p.m. back at Cypress College.