COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team wrapped up the regular season with a 5-2 Orange Empire Conference win over visiting Irvine Valley College on Thursday at Wendell Pickens Field.
The win concluded one of the most memorable regular seasons in school history for the conference-champion Pirates, who finished the regular season at 31-4-1 overall, 18-3 in the OEC.
The Pirates' .875 winning percentage for 2012 is the highest in school history and their .857 win percentage in conference is the highest since 1957 when they went 13-1.
"The 31 wins are nice, the high rankings are nice, the conference championship is nice ... but we still have a long ways to go to get to where we want to be," OCC head coach John Altobelli said. "Starting next week, all of that stuff means nothing. It's 0-0 for everyone and may the best team win."
Trailing 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Coast picked up some two-out magic to grab hold of the lead. Stefan Sabol walked, stole second and scored on an RBI-single by Eilert Meyers to make it 2-1. Bijan Rademacher followed with a single to right and after a balk moved both runners up, Joel Licon came through with a two-run single to left, scoring Meyers and Rademacher to make it 3-2.
An RBI-single by Boog Powell and an RBI-grounder by Sabol helped extend OCC's lead to 5-2 in the seventh and the Pirate pitching staff made that hold up the rest of the way.
Brandon Brennan pitched five innings of relief to pick up the win and improve to 9-1 for the year. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Josh Evans earned his second save of the year with a scoreless ninth. Starter Eric Salcido pitched three solid innings, allowing just one run (unearned) on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Up next for the Pirates will be the 2012 Southern California Regional Playoffs, slated for May 5-6 at OCC. Game time for May 5 is 1 p.m. The Pirates will play the winner of Tuesday's play-in game between the No. 15 seed and the No. 18 seed. The final seedings will be announced this weekend. Game 2 of this best-of-three series will take place on May 6 at 11 a.m. and if a third-game is necessary, it will be played immediately after Game 2.
June 7, 2012 SIX Pirates selected in 2012 MLB Draft
May 22, 2012 Carlson named State Player of the Year
May 21, 2012 Pirates drop two straight at Final Four
May 7, 2012 Altobelli named OEC Male Coach of the Year
May 1, 2012 Yuhl, Carlson among standouts in All-OEC honors
April 25, 2012 Pirates end regular season with 5-2 win over Lasers
April 24, 2012 Pirates clinch conference title with 7-2 win over Lasers
April 21, 2012 Pirates edged by Tigers in 12 innings
April 19, 2012 Pirates earn share of OEC title with win over Tigers
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
February 6, 2012 Pirates make it a clean sweep over Cuesta
February 3, 2012 Pirates open season with 6-3 win over Cuesta