OCC vs Fullerton

The series was set to get underway on March 17, and as the Pirates were coming off of an earlier series win, all indicators were pointing toward another set of victories against the struggling Fullerton Hornets.

Before the season was cancelled, Fullerton found itself slipping to a (5-14-1) record and had failed to find it’s first conference victory.

Similar to its real life counterpart, the Fullerton team failed to impress in the OOTP simulations preseason series against OCC.

When the two teams came together in game one of their simulated series, it was Coast that found the early lead. The Pirates scored a pair of runs in the opening three innings, with the first one coming across in the second following freshman Nolan Funke’s triple that put him in scoring position before being brought in by sophomore Chase Hanson’s single.

On the mound for the Pirates was sophomore Michael Ryhlick who stayed on the bump until the end of the eighth inning with Coast still leading 4-3.

Coast tacked on another two runs in back-to-back innings once again, as sophomore David Morgan went yard in the fifth and sophomore Jared Schatz picked up an RBI single in the sixth to regain the lead for the Pirates.

Fullerton also scored following a triple back in the fourth inning, and had tied the game against Coast for a half inning when it scored two in the top of the sixth.

Into the ninth inning the game went, separated by just the one run. With Ryhlick being relieved it was sophomore Juan Sanjuan who would be tasked with retiring the final three Fullerton batters and picking up the save.

The Hornets had other ideas though, scoring three in the ninth on five hits before closing the game out following a three-up three-down inning for its freshman closer Garett Kostyk who struck out two, and got the final Pirate to fly out.

Game two was pretty similar in score to its first contest finishing 7-5, but this time it was Coast who came out on top. The team's hitters put on a show racking up 13 hits with two doubles, and a home run to show. It was freshman Garett Barto who went deep this contest, hitting the two-run shot in the eighth inning to help solidify the Pirate victory.

Coast was powered on by Barto who finished the afternoon with the two-run homerun, two walks, and helped score another run while on the basepath. David Morgan would have another solid performance as well, having himself a 3-for-5 day with a double.

MJ Gabaldon was the team's starter, a freshman who tossed seven innings and gave up five runs. Gabaldon’s outing was enough to keep Coast in the game with the team only trailing by one run at a time. Freshman Eric Krueger and sophomore Kelly Austin would combine to pitch the final 1.2 innings, limiting the Hornets to zero hits and striking out one each.

When game three rolled on in, it seemed as if the Pirates were a different team from the previous two contests. It was far from a close game with the Pirates winning 5-0. Fullerton stranded two runners on five hits and weren’t able to get anything going offensively.

Sophomore Jake Lopez was dominant on the mound, pitching a complete game shutout. Lopez only struck out four of the Fullerton hitters on the night, but he didn’t walk a single batter and limited the Hornets to just five hits. It seemed as if the batters were left to either ground out or fly out in a contest where every ball in play felt like a putout.

The Pirate hitters who had produced throughout the series continued to do much of the same with Morgan, Hanson and Funke all picking up a pair of hits and an RBI. With the victory the Pirates took the series two games to one, and have to be pleased with the results even if its first outing should have probably resulted in another win as well.

Had the season not been cancelled, and the sims results were consistent with reality, it would have seen the Pirates move to (5-3) in conference play and to (14-9) on the season. With consistent performances, the Pirates of OOTP look set to take its conference by storm and carry on where its actual counterparts left off when the season was cancelled.

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