The final series of the simulation sees Orange Coast College run into Riverside City College, an opponent below it in the rankings but one which is still threatening.
Riverside had a great start to its season, accumulating a (16-6) record but had faltered during conference play going (2-3). Carried by the best pitching in the OEC, the Tigers would rely on improved hitting to pick up victories. The Tigers had given up the second-lowest run total in the league, gave up the least hits and home runs, while pitching to the tune of the league-best 3.29 ERA.
Hoping to gain some form of a competitive edge, the Pirates enlisted sophomore Jake Lopez who led the team in wins with four to this point.
An early double by Tiger freshman Matthew Darr gave it an early lead in the second inning. Darr led Riverside in hits during the year, hitting six doubles along the way.
Sophomore David Morgan responded though, as his sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third tied the game at one. In the fourth inning, OCC freshman star Cary Arbolida went deep to give the Pirates the lead. The home run was his fifth of the simulation and would bring his tally to nine when combined with the four he hit before the season came to a close.
Lopez was looking dominant on the mound after composing himself following the opening run. He would deal for eight innings, giving up just the one run on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
A two-run sixth inning would deflate the Tigers with sophomore Chase Hanson scoring two on a triple, his second extra-base hit of the night after his double in the fourth. The Pirates would summon sophomore Juan Sanjuan in the ninth who came in and recorded the save giving the Pirates a 4-1 victory.
In game two it looked like the Tigers’ arms were finally getting the best of the Pirates. Sophomore Drew D’Ambra was lights out, going the distance in his start and giving up just two hits total, both coming after the seventh inning. He struck out 12 Pirate batters and gave up two runs.
Riverside came out roaring in the contest’s opening innings, scoring six runs by the end of the fourth. The Tigers tallied 12 hits in its seven-run outing, as it took game two by a score of 7-2.
The third and final game of the series was as one-sided as it gets. Riverside would send the Pirates home, packing in the final game of the OEC season demolishing OCC by a scoreline of 23-5. The Tigers didn’t even need to worry about pitching as it beat down on the Pirates.
Two home runs and a triple were the Tigers only extra-base hits, but the team made it through its batting order six times and was working on its seventh when the game came to a close. Riverside sophomore Mathew Ivancich would have the game of his life, as he went 4-for-5 with eight RBI’s, a triple and a home run. The eighth RBIs in the contest would tie his tally during the pandemic-shortened season.
David Morgan was the only Pirate to put up a fight, as he went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI’s. Morgan would close out the simulation with six home runs leading the power-hitting Pirates, who finished with a league-best 16 home runs during the simulation.
It was another series that didn’t go the Pirates way, and the way it ended was definitely ugly. The Pirates still finished the year above .500 going (18-17) and (9-11) in conference play. There were shocking blowouts and some close contests that didn’t go its way during the simulation, but the Pirates still fought.