Pirates open season with 6-3 win over Cuesta

COSTA MESA -- With the talent that resides in the Orange Coast College baseball dugout, it should come as no surprise that several professional scouts made Wendell Pickens Field their home on Friday afternoon and they didn't go home disappointed.
 
Led by six strong innings from freshman Brandon Brennan and some timely hitting and defense, the Pirates won their 2012 home opener, 6-3, over visiting Cuesta College.
 
Brennan, who sported a 94 mile-per-hour fastball throughout the game, allowed just one run on seven hits over six innings, walking two and striking out six. He fell behind several batters, but used his fastball and off-speed pitches to wiggle out of jams.
 
The Cougars (0-1) had 11 hits on the afternoon, but stranded 11 runners (seven in the first four innings).
 
The turning point of the game came in the seventh inning. With the Pirates up just 3-1, Cuesta had runners on first and third with only one out. With the runner from first running on the pitch, second baseman Ben Agredano fielded a grounder and quickly flipped it to shortstop Joel Licon, who fought off the sliding base-runner and turned a much-needed double play, ending the threat.
 
The Pirates responded to their good fortune with a three-run frame in the bottom of the seventh to take whatever wind remained in Cuesta's sails. After Bijan Rademacher led off with a walk, a nicely-executed hit-and-run by Agredano put runners on the corners. After Austin Wobrock moved Agredano into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, leadoff hitter Boog Powell ripped a two-run double down the right-field line, scoring both runners. After a wild pitch, Licon cashed in Powell with an RBI-single to center, making it 6-1.
 
Cuesta threatened in the ninth inning with a pair of runs, but would get no closer.
 
Powell finished with two hits, two runs and two RBI, while Agredano and Licon each added a pair of hits and one RBI.
 
Cuesta was led offensively by Michael Nieporte (2-for-5, one RBI), Josh Miller (2-for-4, one run) and Alex Detz (2-for-4). Cougar righty David Murillo took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) over 6 1/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

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