HUNTINGTON BEACH -- Golden West College's Fred Hoover Field is never an easy place to play for a visiting team and the Orange Coast College baseball team managed to hang on to a 6-5 win on Wednesday against the host Rustlers.
Trailing 3-2 after six innings, the Pirates (13-10, 5-3 in Orange Empire Conference) grabbed the lead for good with a four-run seventh inning and had to fight off a late rally by the Rustlers (12-11, 3-5) to preserve the win.
GWC answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-1, but OCC took advantage of a pair of Rustler errors in the top of the fifth to make it 3-2.
It stayed that way until the top of the seventh, when a Cliff Pradd walk and a double by Murphy Stehly put runners on second and third for the Pirates. Simon Limonchi picked up the big hit with a two-run single to put the Pirates up, 4-3. Javier Rosales followed with an RBI-triple to score Limonchi and when the GWC second baseman fumbled the relay throw, Rosales came all the way around to score to put OCC up 6-3.
The Rustlers picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 6-5, but closer Josh Berman came in and shut the door, retiring GWC in order to end the game.
Cole Van Den Helder (1-0) came in for relief of Cameron Jabara (three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts over five innings) and earned the win for OCC, while Berman notched his third save of the season.
Game 3 of this three-game series takes place on Friday at 2 p.m. at OCC's Wendell Pickens Field.