It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball Tuesday as the Orange Coast College baseball team coasted past Southwestern College, winning 8-1 in its season home opener.
After placing third in the state championship last year, OCC’s defense fielded flawlessly. It committed no errors and had a few web gem catches by sophomore outfielders Javier Rosales and Walker Keller.
“I thought our pitching was outstanding. We kind of set the tone early, once we starting hitting you know the guys had some big at bats and our defense was really good. It was a plus side all around,” head coach John Altobelli said.
The Pirate offense looked patient at the plate, often getting ahead of the count and drawing walks. The Pirates’ bats came to life within the first four innings knocking in five runs with the help of a clutch double down the line coming from sophomore catcher Todd Jackson.
Sophomore Ben Davis took to the hill for the Pirates, looking solid, mixing off speed pitches and painting the corners over four innings of work. Davis allowed only two hits while picking up a pair of Ks.
“The only time they scored was in the fifth inning. We walked the first two guys on, so other than that, the kids did a good job of battling and making some tremendous plays,” Altobelli said.
The Troggs’ famous tune “Wild Thing” was saved for another day, as the Pirates’ bullpen was lights out over five innings. Sophomores Vince Inman, Davis Delorefice and Cole Van Den Helder all tossed an inning of work in relief, allowing no hits collectively.
In each of the past 14 seasons, the Pirates have reached the Southern California Regional Playoffs under head coach Altobelli.
The Pirates look to take on Cuesta College Thursday at 2 p.m. at OCC’s Wendell Pickens Field.
“We lost a key few sophomores this year, but we have a good crew coming back with some new players,” Altobelli said. “Were going to try and figure it out here early here within the non conference schedule, I like our guys and I like the way we work and so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”