FRESNO -- In a game that shortened the lifespan of just about everyone in attendance at John Euless Ballpark, the Orange Coast College baseball team kept its season alive with a 10-4, 12-inning win over Mt. San Antonio on Saturday in the first elimination game of the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball State Championships.
The Pirates (34-14) will now escape the warm Fresno sun and await the loser of today's next game between Sacramento City and San Joaquin Delta. Coast will play its next game later tonight, 45 minutes following the conclusion of this afternoon's contest between the Panthers and Mustangs (approximately 6:30 p.m.).
Holding on to a comfortable 4-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, the Mounties (35-14) showed the Pirates that NOTHING is comfortable when it comes to the State Final Four. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Mt. SAC before Anthony Walters ripped a three-run double off of the center-field wall, cutting OCC's lead to 4-3. After an intentional walk put runners on first and second, Brandon Bradshaw kept the Mounties' season alive with a game-tying single to left.
With all of the momentum clearly on the side of the Mounties, OCC needed to hang on for the next couple of innings and reliever Doug Magee was right man for the job, keeping Mt. SAC scoreless in the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings to pick up the win and improve to 5-1.
In the 12th, the Pirates' bats came alive and they finally delivered the knockout blow to the Mt. SAC bullpen. In fact, the first seven OCC batters reached safely and posted six huge runs on the scoreboard.
A leadoff single by Chris Ceballos was followed with a double by Domenic Donato. Pinch-hitter Ulises Caballero stepped up and came through with an RBI-single to center, putting OCC ahead for good. Murphy Stehly then followed with an RBI-single on the first pitch he saw, putting Coast up, 6-4.
An RBI-groundout by Coby Kauhaahaa and an infield error by the Mounties plated the final two runs of the afternoon for the Pirates, before Magee finished the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 12th.
Mt. SAC reliever Zach Bromstead took the season-ending loss for the Mounties after allowing two runs on six hits over three relief innings.
Lost in the excitement was a brilliant seven-inning performance by Pirate starter Michael Giacone, who held the Mounties to no runs on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
Ceballos finished by going 4-for-6 with a run scored, while Donato with 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three runs and three RBI. Silver was clutch in the bottom of the batting order, going 4-for-6 with a run and two RBI. That Pirate trio accounted for 11 of their 20 hits for the afternoon.