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.
June 7, 2012 SIX Pirates selected in 2012 MLB Draft
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May 7, 2012 Altobelli named OEC Male Coach of the Year
May 1, 2012 Yuhl, Carlson among standouts in All-OEC honors
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April 17, 2012 Pirates hold off Gauchos for 7-6 win
April 14, 2012 Pirates clobber Rustlers, 21-1
April 12, 2012 Pirates' Brennan outduels Fullerton's Lucas in 1-0 win
April 11, 2012 Coast escpaes Fullerton with 8-7 win
March 30, 2012 Winning streak ends as Pirates fall to Dons, 7-6
March 27, 2012 Pirates blank Gauchos, 13-0
March 24, 2012 Pirates keep winning after 5-3 victory over Gauchos
March 22, 2012 Rademacher's late blast lifts Pirates past Chargers
March 21, 2012 Yuhl goes the distance as Pirates double-up Chargers, 4-2
March 15, 2012 Brennan leads Pirates past Lasers, 3-1
March 14, 2012 Team effort leads the way as Pirates roll past Tigers, 10-4
March 12, 2012 Carlson, Yuhl lead Pirates past Rustlers
March 8, 2012 Pirates stunned by Hornets, 5-3
March 6, 2012 Late rally lifts Pirates over Dons
March 2, 2012 Pirates open OEC with 12-4 win over Chargers
February 25, 2012 Cougars snap OCC's win streak
February 24, 2012 Coast routs Southwestern, 13-1
February 23, 2012 Pirates keep rolling after 9-1 win over Canyons
February 20, 2012 Pirates earn third straight sweep; improve to 10-0-1
February 14, 2012 Pirates remain unbeaten with 3-2 win over Palomar
February 10, 2012 Carlson, Powell propel Pirates past Vikings
February 8, 2012 Late error helps Pirates slip away with win over Vikings
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February 3, 2012 Pirates open season with 6-3 win over Cuesta