COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team managed to do something this week that the states of Hawaii, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota and South Dakota could not do -- have six players selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
Thanks to a 36-7-1 record and a fourth-place finish in the state, the Pirates led all California community colleges with six (eight total, including two players from the 2009 team). Riverside was the next highest with three (five total), while Cypress had two (four total).
The first two-year player from California selected was OCC's Brandon Brennan, selected in the fourth round (141st overall) by the Chicago White Sox. Brennan finished the 2012 season with an 11-1 record and a microscopic 1.25 ERA. He was a first-team, All-Orange Empire Conference and a first-team, All-State selection. In 108 1/3 innings of work, Brennan fanned 72 batters and allowed just 15 earned runs on just 76 hits. If he doesn't sign, look for Brennan to attend the University of Houston in the fall.
Next to go for the Pirates was outfielder/pitcher Bijan Rademacher, who was selected in the 13th round (404th overall) by the Chicago Cubs. Rademacher was among the state leaders with 49 RBI and finished the year with a .349 batting average, 51 hits, 17 extra-base hits and seven home runs. On the mound, Rademacher was a late-season closer for the Pirates, picking up four saves in five opportunities and 10 strikeouts in eight innings, notching a 1.12 ERA along the way. If he doesn't sign, expect Rademacher to play for Oral Roberts University in the fall.
Sophomore catcher/outfielder Stefan Sabol was selected in the 17th round (530th overall) by the New York Mets. Blessed with size, power and above-average speed, Sabol overcame a preseason broken hand and managed to hit .255 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 2012. In 29 games, he collected 25 hits and scored 28 runs while picking up 11 extra-base hits. If he doesn't sign, expect to see Sabol attend Oklahoma State University in the fall.
In the 20th round (619th overall), freshman outfielder Boog Powell was selected by the Oakland A's. With an uncanny ability to put the ball in play, the speedy Powell led OCC with 76 hits in just 44 games, compiling a .398 batting average, scoring 49 runs while driving in 25. In centerfield, Powell was the defensive leader in the field, ranging all over the outfield to make tough plays seem routine. He was a first-team, all-conference and first-team, all-state selection.
In the 25th round (760th overall), shortstop Joel Licon was selected by the Minnesota Twins. The captain of the infield, Licon finished the 2012 season with a .310 batting average, 43 runs scored, 45 hits, four home runs and 31 RBI. The consummate No. 2 hitter, his 16 sacrifice bunts led the Pirates and helped pave the way for several big innings. He earned second-team, all-conference and first-team, All-Southern California honors for the Pirates. If he doesn't sign, expect Licon to attend Liberty University in the fall.
The sixth player for the 2012 Pirates selected was standout outfielder Chris Carlson in the 33rd round (1,021st overall) by the Boston Red Sox. Despite a smallish frame, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound sophomore left-fielder was the mainstay in the heart of the OCC lineup. He finished with a team-best .421 batting average with seven home runs and 43 RBI. He collected 61 hits (22 extra-base hits), scored 37 runs and even led the team with 11 stolen bases. Carlson was named the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year at the California Player of the Year as well as the state's Big Stick Award winner. If he doesn't sign, look for Carlson at New Mexico State University in the fall.
In addition to the six players from this year's team, a pair of former Pirates from the 2009 state championship team found their names next to Major League Teams -- infielder Ryan Dunn and pitcher Calvin Drummond.
Dunn, who played for Oregon State during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, was selected in the 17th round (542nd overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays. Dunn batted .286 for the Beavers in 2012, finishing with 19 doubles, seven home runs and 36 runs batted in. He concluded his Oregon State career with 113 games played and batted .283 with 27 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 62 RBI.
Drummond, who played for University of San Diego the past two seasons, was selected in the 38th round (1,159th overall) by the Oakland A's. Drummond served as a mainstay in the Toreros weekend rotation. Overall, Drummond posted an 8-6 record with a 3.43 ERA in 86.2 innings of work. Drummond led the team in strikeouts with 80, while holding opponents to a .291 batting average.