Randel goes the distance as Pirates stay alive with 5-1 win over Dons

Randel goes the distance as Pirates stay alive with 5-1 win over Dons

COSTA MESA -- Ryan Randel tossed a complete-game gem for the Orange Coast College baseball team as the Pirates pulled out a 5-1 win over Santa Ana force a third-and-deciding game in the Southern California Super Regional playoffs on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field.

With the win, the top-seeded Pirates (34-10) evened this best-of-three series with the 14th-seeded Dons (29-16) at a game apiece and will play SAC for a trip to the Southern California Sectionals on Sunday, beginning at 12 p.m. at OCC.

Randel (7-3), who began the season out of the bullpen, gave his former late-inning buddies the afternoon off as he went the distance, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a 116-pitch performance. He allowed the leadoff batter to reach base only once the entire game and controlled the strike zone throughout the afternoon.

Coast, the designated visiting team on Saturday, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Ramiro Velasco reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on a costly, two-out passed ball.

Some more SAC defensive hijinks led to OCC's second run of the game in the top of the fourth. Eric Wagaman singled to left, stole second, advanced to third on an error by SAC first baseman Adam Cendejas and scored two batters later on an infield single off the bat of Nolan Powers.

Dons' starter Nigel Ward (7-6) hung tough and pitched well through six innings before running out of gas in the top of the seventh.

In that frame, Jacob White walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by J.T. Navarro and scored on an RBI-single by Travis Moniot to make it 3-0. Wagaman quickly followed and launched his 14th home run of the season, a no-doubter over the left-field fence, putting Coast up 5-0. Wagaman finished the afternoon with three hits, two runs and two RBI to pace OCC's nine-hit attack.

Ward allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Santa Ana's lone run came in the bottom of the seventh when Justin Mellano tripled to left and scored on an RBI-single by Juan Gonzalez, but Randel minimized the damage and the Dons would not score the rest of the afternoon.