COSTA MESA -- A strong start was all the Orange Coast College baseball would need as the Pirates toppled L.A. Mission College, 8-1, in Game 1 of the Southern California Regional playoffs on Friday at Wendell Pickens Field.
With the win, OCC (30-8-1) leads the best-of-three series 1-0 over the Eagles (23-17). Game 2 is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Wendell Pickens Field, with a third game to follow, if necessary.
Williams got the Pirates on the scoreboard just two batters into the game. Skylar Limonchi led off with an infield hit and Williams followed with a line-shot over the left-field wall, putting the hosts up, 2-0.
That would prove to be enough runs for OCC starter Cole Van Den Helder (10-1), who kept the Eagles in check through seven innings. The sophomore righty gave up one run on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts before Vince Inman finished off the Eagles with two scoreless, hitless frames with two more strikeouts.
LAMC starter Dominic Eberle (3-4) took the loss after allowing eight runs (six earned) over 3 1/3 innings on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Relievers Armando Yanez and Joey Conreras did a solid job of quieting the Pirate bats the rest of the way (4 2/3 scoreless on four hits), but the damage was already done.
An RBI-triple by Delorefice in the bottom of the second made it 4-0 and in the bottom of the third, Stehly was able to come home on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, an error and a walk put runners on first and second before Delorefice's second triple of the afternoon plated both runners, putting Coast up, 7-0. The final run for the OCC offense came on an RBI-single by Tyler Lasch.
Andrew Scheinert went 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Eagles, while Gabe Gonzalez and Kyle Fleishman each went 2-for-4.