Arbolida, Pirates slug their way past Comets

Arbolida, Pirates slug their way past Comets

SAN MARCOS -- Cary Arbolida continued his red-hot hitting, going 5-for-6, including a three-run home run, to lead the Orange Coast College baseball team to an 11-9 nonconference win over host Palomar College on Tuesday.

So just how hot HAS Arbolida been? Well, over the past six games -- all won by the Pirates (8-6) -- the 6'1, 230-pound slugger from South Torrance HS has gone 13-for-25 (.520) with 10 runs, four home runs and 11 RBI, helping OCC turn things around after an understandably ragged start to the season. Arbolida became just the 22nd player in school history to collect five hits in a single game.

Six Pirates had multi-hit games on Tuesday, including leadoff hitter Jared Schatz, who went 4-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI. Nolan Funke went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI, Will Mangurian added two hits, two runs and one RBI, Chase Hanson went 2-for-5 with a runs scored and Logan Jackson collected a pair of hits in five at-bats.

Michael Ryhlick pitched five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts to pick up the win. Kelly Austin got into some trouble in the ninth but still earned his first save of the season with two innings of relief work.

Coast led 8-3 before the Comets mounted a comeback with a run in the sixth and three more in the eighth to make it 8-7.

But Arbolida pushed the Pirates' lead to four with a crushing three-run home run to left, making it 11-7. That blast proved to be vital as the Comets scored twice more in the ninth before Austin coaxed the final out of the game to wrap up the 3-hour, 45-minute marathon.

OCC returns to Wendell Pickens Field on Saturday against College of the Canyons, beginning at 12 p.m.