COSTA MESA -- In the latest version of the "Biggest Game of the Year", the Orange Coast College baseball team rose to the challenge and posted a 5-0 win over Mt. San Antonio in the championship semifinals of the 2012 Southern California Super Regional playoffs on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field.
With the win, the top-seeded Pirates (35-4-1) will take on fifth-seeded Glendale (29-11) on Sunday at 11 a.m. for the Super Regional championship and a trip to the State Final Four, held at Bakersfield College on May 18-20. If the Pirates can win one out of a possible two games on Sunday, they will advance to their third State Final Four since 2005.
OCC freshman standout Brandon Brennan (11-1) mowed down the Mounties with eight strong innings of work, allowing no runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts. After battling through some jams in the fourth and fifth innings, Brennan retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced, nine by way of ground outs. Bijan Rademacher pitched a scoreless ninth inning to wrap things up.
Brennan (pictured above) was especially tough on the top of the Mounties' batting order. The 1-2-3 batters went a combined 0-for-12 with a walk and five strikeouts.
The 1-2 punch at the top of the Pirate rotation has helped carry the team this far. Starter Keegan Yuhl (11-1) blanked the Chargers on Friday with eight scoreless innings. The twosome are a combined 22-2 with a 1.52 ERA in 189 1/3 innings of work.
"Those guys have been our go-to guys all season long and they've come up big in the playoffs, which is awesome to see," OCC head coach John Altobelli said. "They've been great leaders to our pitching staff and hopefully, the other guys will continue to follow their lead on Sunday."
The last time Coast posted shutouts on consecutive days was March 27-28, 2002 against College of the Sequoias and West Hills.
Austin Wobrock went 3-for-4 with a run scored for OCC, while Bryan Garza's two-run home run capped off a four-run sixth inning that broke a scoreless tie.
Joel Licon was hit by a pitch to start the sixth and after a stolen base, he scored on an RBI-double to left-center by Chris Carlson, putting Coast up 1-0.
After a fly out by Stefan Sabol advanced Carlson to third, Rademacher took advantage of a drawn-in infield and ripped a single to right to score Carlson for a 2-0 Pirate lead.
Garza (pictured right) followed and ripped a fastball over the right-field fence for his first home run of the season, putting OCC out in front 4-0.
Wobrock led off the seventh with an infield single and advanced to second on a bunt-single by Boog Powell. After a fly out by Licon, Carlson hit a potential double-play grounder to the Mounties second baseman, but a wide throw to second allowed Wobrock to score the game's fifth and final run of the game.
Jeff Crowe went 4-for-4 for the Mounties, who were eliminated by the Vaqueros, 9-2, in the second game of the afternoon at Wendell Pickens Field.
In the early-morning elimination game played at Golden West, Glendale overcame a 4-1 deficit in the seventh inning when Adam Ochart ripped a pinch-hit grand slam to give the Vaqueros a 5-4 win over Cypress, knocking the Chargers out of the playoffs.
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