The Orange Coast College baseball team (5-6) is in free fall after losing to offensive powerhouse Palomar College (8-2) 10-2 on Friday.
Losing five of its last seven games, Coast is in disarray, giving up runs and extra bases at will. A visibly frustrated head coach John Altobelli refused to speak with his team after the underwhelming performance.
“We just aren’t doing the job that we are capable of doing. It’s very frustrating,” assistant coach John Bryant said. “We just have to keep coming out and work hard to continue to find that rhythm that will turn things around.
There was no absence of life in the Pirates, showing glimmers of clutch pitching and solid defense that could have swayed the game in their favor. But careless mistakes ultimately littered the nine-inning disaster.
A lead-off walk turned into a five-run first inning for Palomar, putting OCC in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.
A botched throw to sophomore starting pitcher McKinley LeFore set the tone, unraveling five total errors on the day.
“We are still trying to find a viable lineup and play to our capabilities. We haven’t done that thus far, that’s the nature of the game sometimes,” Bryant said. “It’s a game of adjustments, and so far we haven’t made the adjustments necessary to be consistent.”
The Pirates left 12 runners on base and struck out 10 times in arguably their worst offensive display of the season, earning their first run off freshman second baseman substitute Adam Serrano’s single to right field in the eighth inning.
There is a strong host of talent on the team, but the culmination of mediocrity so far this season has provided an uncharacteristic trend.
“Every team is going to go through a rough area, and right now we are going through a very rough area,” Bryant said. “We have got to get things turned around and figure it out very quickly, cause when we step into the [Orange Empire Conference] it’s not going to get any easier.”
OCC take on College of the Desert (3-9) at noon today, looking to get back on track. They return home to Wendell Pickens Field on Tuesday to play Southwestern College at 2 p.m.
“Champions are made if you are mentally tough enough withstand this, get through it and make the adjustments necessary. The success that you have after that is that much sweeter. That is what you work towards,” Bryant said.