COSTA MESA -- It'll be a high-noon showdown for all the marbles for the Orange Coast College baseball team as the Pirates fall to El Camino, 10-8, in Game 2 of the Southern California Sectional playoffs on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field.
After a late-inning rally lifted OCC (36-11) to a 5-4 win in Game 1 on Friday, the late-inning magic came up short on Saturday as the Warriors (38-9) even the series at a game apiece. Game 3 will take place on Sunday at 12 p.m. at OCC with the winner advancing to the State Final Four in Fresno next weekend.
Six Pirates notched multi-hit games, including J.T. Navarro (3-for-6, three RBI), Nolan Powers (3-for-5, three runs, one RBI), Jacob White (3-for-5, one run, two RBI), Eric Wagaman (2-for-6, one run), Robert Teel (2-for-5, one run) and Ramiro Velasco (2-for-4, one run, one RBI). In spite of eight runs and 16 hits, Coast left 13 runners on base, a stat that proved costly as the Warriors grabbed the lead early and never let up.
ECC jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but OCC chipped away with single runs in the second and third innings. The big blow came in the bottom of the fourth when ECC's Ty Conrad lifted a three-run home run down the left-field line, putting the Warriors (the designated home team) up 6-2.
Again, Coast chipped into the deficit and made it 6-3 on an RBI-single by White in the top of the sixth, but the Warriors quickly answered in the bottom of frame with three more runs to make it 9-3.
RBI-hits by Powers, White and Navarro made it 9-6 in the top of the seventh and after ECC made it 10-7 in the eighth, OCC continued to fight in the ninth. With two runners on base, Navarro chopped a two-run single up the middle and had the tying run up at the plate with only one out. But, ECC closer Jake Carr collected his seventh save by striking out Travis Moniot and retired Wagaman on a fly ball to left.