COSTA MESA -- It wasn't the prettiest of the 22 wins, but the Orange Coast College baseball team will take Saturday's 5-3 victory over visiting Saddleback College, played at Wendell Pickens Field.
With the usual key players struggling to find their offensive groove, the top-ranked Pirates (22-2-1, 9-1 in Orange Empire Conference) picked up some key hits from the bottom of the lineup as Ben Agredano went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI, while teammate Trent Woodward added a single, double and a run scored.
After Saddleback jumped out in front, 1-0 in the first inning, the Pirates responded with a pair of runs in the third. Agredano started things with a solo home run over the left-field fence to make it 2-1. Woodward followed with a double to right center and after moving up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Boog Powell, Chris Carlson ripped an RBI-single to right to put Coast out in front.
Saddleback slugger Lee Casas helped give the Gauchos a 3-2 lead when he ripped his first home run of the season -- a two-run shot over the right-field fence.
Starter Ryan Evans gave up nine hits over five innings of work, but minimized his damage by not walking anyone. He allowed three runs (two earned) with five strikeouts.
In the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff hit-by-pitch by Joel Licon looked to be wasted after a pair of outs were recorded, but a failed pickoff attempt send Licon to third and a passed ball allowed the sophomore shortstop to score, tying the game at 3.
Saddleback mounted a two-out threat in the seventh when a walk and two hit batsmen loaded the bases, but reliever Josh Evans (1-0) coaxed a grounder to first to end the inning. Josh Evans and Jed Vandernaald combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief to keep the Gauchos at bay.
OCC regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when one-out hits by Agredano and Woodward put runners on the corners. Powell came through with a sacrifice fly to center to score Agredano and gave Coast the lead for good.
An insurance run in the eighth off the bat of Justin Broussard capped off the scoring and Keegan Yuhl picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning.
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
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March 27, 2012 Pirates blank Gauchos, 13-0
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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
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March 6, 2012 Late rally lifts Pirates over Dons
March 2, 2012 Pirates open OEC with 12-4 win over Chargers
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February 24, 2012 Coast routs Southwestern, 13-1
February 23, 2012 Pirates keep rolling after 9-1 win over Canyons
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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
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