COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team took advantage of a woeful opening inning by visiting Riverside and blanked the Tigers, 12-0, on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field.
With the win, the Pirates (22-6-1, 9-3 in the Orange Empire Conference) move back into a first-place tie with the Tigers (22-7, 9-3) and are one game ahead of third-place Santa Ana (18-9, 8-4) after the Dons lost a ninth-inning heartbreaker to last-place Fullerton, 6-5, at SAC's Don Sneddon Field.
There were no such late-inning dramatics needed for OCC as the Tigers were their own worst enemy in the first inning. After failing to score with the bases loaded in the top of the frame, Riverside committed three errors in the bottom of the first, which led to seven unearned runs before the inning was over.
An error and a walk put runners on first and second with nobody out. Two batters later, Davis Delorefice lined an RBI-single to left to put OCC up, 1-0.
After a walk loaded the bases, David Morgan hit a routine fly ball to the right side of the infield. Morgan was out on the "infield fly rule" but the ball hit the ground and baserunner Tommy Williams scored on a throwing error by the RCC first baseman. Delorefice, who was standing on second base at the beginning of the at-bat, went to third and scored on another throwing error on the same play, putting OCC ahead, 3-0.
From there, the flood gates opened as four singles and a walk helped plate four more runs (all unearned) to blow the game open early. Ryan O'Halloran, Adam Serrano, Skylar Limonchi and Williams each contributed RBI-hits in Coast's seven-run frame.
With the game in hand, the next question was, could the Pirates keep the Tigers hitless for the entire game? For seven innings, the answer was "yes" as the pitching combo of Ben Davis and Michael Ryhlick (2-1) kept the RCC bats silent for the first six innings. Finally, a bloop double off the bat of Riverside pinch-hitter Jonathan Ho in the top of the eighth broke the no-no up, but that would be it for the Tigers' offense the remainder of the game.
For the record, OCC's first, last and ONLY no-hitter in 2,619 games played in school history was thrown by Wayne Coughtry against Fullerton College, back in 1956.
Delorefice went 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI, while Limonchi and Serrano each went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI for the Pirates.
Coast will return to action on Tuesday at home against Golden West, beginning at 2 p.m.