RIVERSIDE -- The Orange Coast College baseball team's quest for the 2012 Orange Empire Conference title was put on hold by host Riverside City College following Friday's 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Tigers.
Friday's loss, combined with Santa Ana's 3-1 win over Saddleback, keeps Coast's "magic number" at one, heading in to the final week of the regular season. OCC needs one win over Irvine Valley, or one loss by the Dons over the final two games to wrap up the OEC title.
Things looked good on Friday when a pair of two-out singles by Boog Powell and Chris Licon and a fielding error by the Tigers gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead in the top of the 12 inning.
But the Pirates returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning. Riverside had runners on first and second with nobody out when a sacrifice bunt was misplayed, loading the bases. After a big strikeout by OCC righty Keegan Yuhl (9-1) and potential game-ending double-play grounder was beat out at first base by RCC's Brad Burcroff, allowing the tying run to score. One batter later, Daniel Arellano ended the game with an RBI-single to right, dropping the Pirates' record to 29-4-1, 16-3 in the OEC.
Powell, Licon, Trent Woodward and Austin Wobrock each had two hits for Coast, but the rest of the team went a combined 1-for-24 in the game.
Riverside's Blake Burrell pitched 10 strong innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in a 130-pitch performance.
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