Pirates earn share of OEC title with win over Tigers

Pirates earn share of OEC title with win over Tigers

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team clinched at least a share of the Orange Empire Conference title with a 3-1 win over visiting Riverside City College on Thursday at Wendell Pickens Field, but unfortunately for the Pirates, it came at a price.
 
Standout left-fielder Chris Carlson was injured in the first inning when he fouled a pitch off of the inside of his right foot. He stayed in the game to finish his at-bat and played one more inning in the outfield, but he couldn't continue. His status for Friday's game at Riverside or beyond is unknown at this point.
 
"I'm not holding my breath for (Friday), that's for sure," OCC head coach John Altobelli said. "He couldn't put any weight on it and it was swollen up pretty bad. We'll just have to wait and see."
 
OCC starter Brandon Brennan pitched six solid innings to improve his record to 8-1. He allowed just one run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Ryan Evans bridged the gap to the ninth with two innings of two-hit work before Bijan Rademacher pitched the ninth to record his third save of the season.
 
"Hats off to Bijan, who battled a flu bug all day to finish things up for us," Altobelli said. "He battled hard out there for us, on the mound, at the plate and in the outfield."
 
Boog Powell (pictured above) went 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Trent Woodward added a pair of hits and a pair of runs for Coast (29-3-1, 16-2 in OEC).
 
The Pirates grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Austin Wobrock (2-for-3) led off with a single to left field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Powell and eventually scored on a two-out double to left by Stefan Sabol.
 
In the fourth, another two-out RBI-hit -- this time from Powell -- plated OCC's second run of the game and it stayed that way until the top of the seventh.
 
Riverside (16-17, 9-9 in OEC) pushed across a run on an RBI-single by Seth Walston, cutting OCC's lead down to 2-1.
 
But the Pirates managed to pick up some much-needed insurance in the bottom of the eighth.
 
With the bases loaded and one out, Powell again came through and drove in Coast's third run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right, making it 3-1.
 
Rademacher allowed a leadoff walk, but struck out the next batter and retired the final two batters on ground balls to end the game.
 
Tiger starter Matt Chabot (1-1) took the hard-luck loss after allowing three runs on nine hits over seven-plus innings of work. He walked three and struck out three.

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