COSTA MESA -- In an era that features 500-foot home runs and "launch angles", the Orange Coast College baseball team returned to the era of "small ball" and pulled out a 4-3 Orange Empire Conference win over visiting Cypress on Tuesday at Wendell Pickens Field.
OCC (12-7, 4-0 in OEC), winners of six straight, scored their four runs in the following manner ...
- An intentional delayed steal on first-and-third, allowing the runner to score
- An RBI-groundout
- A run-scoring wild pitch
- A successful suicide squeeze
Not exactly "Murders Row" from the old days, but for the first-place Pirates, they will happily accept the victory against a tough team like the Chargers (14-6, 1-3).
OCC starter Michael Giacone pitched five strong innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on just three hits with seven strikeouts. But reliever Doug Magee topped his teammate and picked up the win (1-1), throwing four scoreless frames on just two hits.
Coast grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. With Ramiro Velasco on third and Landon Silver on first with two outs, Silver took off for second on a delayed steal. The throw one-hopped off of the glove of a Cypress infielder, allowing Velasco to score the game's first run.
Skylar Limonchi led off the bottom of the third with a hustle-double to right-center. He went to third on a throwing error by Cypress catcher Dominic Campeau and scored on an RBI-grounder to second by Joey Fregosi.
Cypress evened the score in the top of the fourth on a two-run triple to right-center by Aaron Simpson, but the Pirates regained the lead in the bottom of the frame when a bases-loaded wild pitch allowed Domenic Donato to score, putting Coast up, 3-2.
In spite of runners on second and third with nobody out, Coast failed to stretch its lead any further in the fourth and in the top of the fifth, Cypress evened the game up once again when Pierson Loska lofted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-3.
But in the sixth, Cypress notched its third error of the game and it was a biggie when Jacob Gentry lofted a fly ball to center that was dropped, resulting in a two-base error. After a sacrifice bunt by Silver moved Gentry to third, Coby Kauhaahaa successfully squeezed home Gentry on the next pitch, putting the Pirates up, 4-3.
Magee took care of business from there, allowing no Cypress baserunner to reach even second base over the final four frames.
The Pirates and Chargers will play Game 2 of this three-game series at Cypress College on Thursday, beginning at 2 p.m. The series finale will be on Saturday at 12 p.m. back at OCC's Wendell Pickens Field.