COSTA MESA -- After several long, dragged out, ugly baseball, the Orange Coast College baseball made things look a bit prettier on Monday at Wendell Pickens Field with a 7-1 win over visiting Irvine Valley.
With the threat of week-long rain in the forecast, the Pirates (11-8, 2-2 in the Orange Empire Conference) and the Lasers (11-10, 1-3) moved their game up a day and made sure of at least one game this week. It only took 2 hours and 4 minutes to take care of business as Pirate starter Michael Ryhlick dominated the Lasers for eight solid innings. The sophomore lefty allowed just one run on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts to improve his record to 2-2 overall. Four IVC double plays and some shaky baserunning by the guests helped speed up the process and minimize any threats by the Lasers throughout the afternoon.
While that was happening, David Morgan was leading the OCC offense, going 3-for-4, including two doubles and a two-run home run, two runs scored and four RBI. Chase Hanson was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Logan Jackson added two hits and a run scored.
IVC scored its lone run in the top of the first, but OCC quickly ended that momentum by scoring two runs in the bottom of the same inning. Jared Schatz led off with an infield single and moved to second on a Ryan O'Halloran hit-by-pitch. A fielder's choice kept runners on first a second, but a passed ball moved the runners up to second and third. Morgan brought in a run with an RBI-grounder that was misplayed for an error to tie the score and Hanson put OCC up for good with a run-scoring single to right.
A Schatz sacrifice fly in the second made it 3-1 and it stayed that way until Morgan unloaded on a two-run HR to left in the bottom of the fifth, putting the Pirates up, 5-1.
Morgan and Hanson each drove in runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach as Ryhlick and reliever Juan Sanjuan handled their business the rest of the way.
Game 2 of this week's series, weather permitting, will take place at IVC on Thursday at 2 p.m., with the finale scheduled for Saturday at 12 p.m. back at Wendell Pickens Field.