COSTA MESA -- In another "grind-it-out-until-the-final-out" type of game, the Orange Coast College baseball team came out victorious once again with a 5-3 win over visiting Cypress College on Thursday at Wendell Pickens Field.
It was a well-played game for both sides and in the end, the Pirates (21-2-1, 8-1 in Orange Empire Conference) were able to pull ahead for good on a tie-breaking, two-run home run by Bijan Rademacher (pictured right) in the bottom of the eighth inning. Rademacher finished the afternoon with two hits, a run scored and three RBI to lead the top-ranked Pirates.
The Chargers (14-7, 4-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Anthony Razo ripped a one-out double to left, advanced to third on a single by Robert Chavarria and scored on a single to left by Jonathan Torres. From there Cypress pulled off a well-designed double-steal to make it 2-0.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth when Chris Carlson was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a single to center off the bat of Rademacher, cutting the lead to 2-1.
In the fifth, Stefan Sabol came through with a two-out, two-run single to left, scoring Boog Powell and Joel Licon to give OCC a 3-2 advantage.
Starting pitcher Brandon Brennan rebounded strong from the shaky first inning and kept the Chargers off of the scoreboard for the next five innings. But a pair of singles, a throwing error and a wild pitch enabled Cypress to tie the game at 3. Brennan finished with seven strong innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sabol opened the inning with an infield single. Rademacher followed and ripped a 3-2 fastball over the right-field wall for his team-leading fourth home run of the season.
Reliever Eric Salcido pitched the final two innings and retired six of seven batters faced to pick up the win and improve to 2-1 on the season.
An unsung hero for the Pirates on Thursday was sophomore Eilert Meyers, who picked up four one-hop throws from OCC infielders and prevented a pair of wild pickoff throws from getting by him to help prevent any big innings from the Charger offense.
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