Pirates hold off Gauchos for 7-6 win

HUNTINGTON BEACH -- The Orange Coast College baseball team fought off several rallies by rival Golden West and used some big hits down the stretch to hold off the Rustlers, 7-6, on Tuesday at GWC's Fred Hoover Field.
Coast held leads of 1-0, 4-0, 5-3 and 6-5 only to see the Rustlers battle back and tie the game each time. Finally, in the top of the eighth, a two-out double by Bijan Rademacher was followed up with an RBI-single to left by Bryan Garza, putting the Pirates (28-3-1, 15-2 in OEC) up for good.
Reliever Ryan Evans (2-0) wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth and Rademacher threw a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season, preserving the win for the top-ranked Pirates.
Boog Powell went 3-for-5 with a run scored and three RBI to lead Coast, while Rademacher and Garza each added two hits, a run and one RBI and Trent Woodward chipped in two hits and scored twice.
Keegan Yuhl, 9-0 in nine starts this year, did not earn a decision in the game, but threw well enough to win. The sophomore transfer allowed five runs (only one earned) on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts over six innings.
Blake Cooper went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and RBI to lead the Rustlers (18-13-1, 9-8), who remain tied for third place with Riverside in the ever-tightening race for a playoff berth.
With the win, OCC maintains its three-game lead over Santa Ana atop the OEC standings with four games remaining. A Pirate win and SAC loss on Thursday would give OCC its first outright conference title since 1987.

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