Brennan's strong effort sends Pirates into Super Regional title game

Brennan's strong effort sends Pirates into Super Regional title game

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.

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