COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team picked up its seventh straight win with a 9-4 victory over College of the Canyons on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field.
Heading into Orange Empire Conference play on Tuesday at Golden West, the Pirates (9-6) are playing their best baseball of the season. After falling behind 4-0 in the top of the first, Coast not only pounded out 13 hits and nine runs, but the Pirate bullpen shut down one of the best offenses in the state for the rest of the game.
First out of the Pirates' 'pen was Jack Noble, who silenced the Cougars (3-11-1) for 5 1/3 innings, allowing just two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Teammate Jake Lopez followed with two scoreless innings with a hit and two Ks before Kelly Austin closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning, fanning two as well.
After scoring a run in the bottom of the first, OCC grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third with a four-run frame. A pair of one-out walks was followed with a single to left off the bat of Cary Arbolida, loading the bases. Justin Brodt moved everyone up with a run-scoring grounder to second to make it 4-2. Chase Hanson stepped up and lined a single to right to score two runs and tie the game at 4. Hanson finished the afternoon going 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Nolan Funke got Hanson to third with a single to right and Matt Maloney (2-for-4, one run, two RBI) scored Hanson with a two-out single to center, putting Coast up for good.
From there, the Pirates added a run in the fifth on an RBI-infield single by Jared Schatz (2-for-3, two runs, one RBI) before plating three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of run-scoring grounders by Funke and Maloney were followed with an RBI-single to right by Logan Jackson (2-for-3, one RBI).
OCC's next home game will be Game 2 of its three-game series with the Rustlers on Thursday, beginning at 2 p.m.