FULLERTON -- It was FAR from pretty, but in the end, the Orange Coast College baseball team did what it set out to do on Tuesday -- win.
Despite a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position and a defense that produced five errors, the Pirates slipped out of Fullerton with an 8-7 Orange Empire Conference win over the pesky Fullerton College Hornets.
Don't tell the Pirates (25-3-1, 12-2 in OEC) that playing a Hornets team that is tied for last place in the conference standings is an easy task. Having already lost to Fullerton in the first round of OEC play, Coast came out strong early on and grabbed a 6-0 lead in the fifth inning.
A two-run home run by Chris Carlson in the first inning, followed by a three-run blast by Joel Licon in the top of the fifth helped the nation's top team gain the upper hand.
But the Hornets battled back and with the help of some defensive struggles in the infield, they scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and added three more in the sixth to make things interesting.
The Pirates had several opportunities to blow the game wide open. In the top of the seventh, Coast had bases loaded with only one and failed to score and in the ninth, OCC had second and third with nobody out and again, could not bring the baserunners home.
OCC starter Keegan Yuhl allowed 11 hits, but minimized the damage to record his ninth win of the season (9-0), He allowed five runs (three earned) over 5 1/3 inning with only one walk and nine strikeouts. Reliever Ryan Evans bridged the gap to the late innings with 2 2/3 innings of work before Bijan Rademacher came in for his first inning of the season on the mound, throwing a scoreless ninth for his first save of the year.
Boog Powell went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, a pair of runs and an RBI, while Carlson went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI.
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