FRESNO – The Orange Coast College baseball team had just enough gas in the tank to survive and defeat Sacramento City, 10-7, on Monday night at the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball State Championship, held at Fresno City College's John Euless Ballpark.
With the win, the Pirates (37-9-1) will advance to Tuesday's state championship final against undefeated El Camino, beginning at 11 a.m. The Warriors need to win just one game on Tuesday to capture the state crown, while the Pirates will need to sweep a doubleheader against the Warriors to pull off the championship.
OCC starter Miles Sandum (5-0) picked up the win, holding the Panthers (35-15) to just two runs over his first seven innings before getting into some late-game trouble. Vince Inman wiggled out of the eighth inning before Davis Delorefice recorded the final out of the game for his fifth save of the season.
Sac City starter T.J. Smith faced four batters and gave up four runs to pick up the loss for the Panthers. Coast took advantage of eight walks and a hit batter to go along with eight hits to score four runs in the first inning and six more in the bottom of the sixth.
Delorefice finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI for the Pirates, while Murphy Stehly added two hits and an RBI.
But the real story was Sandum, who got the call after several missed turns through the rotation and finished the night allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits, five walks and eight strikeouts in a 120-pitch performance. His gritty effort not only kept the Pirates alive, but also kept several key arms off of the mound. Those arms are now available for Tuesday's rematch with the Warriors.
Daniel Sayre went 2-for3 with an RBI, while Joey Daini went 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.