The Orange Coast College baseball team won its 10th consecutive game on Friday as it beat Mt. San Antonio College 13-6 in the first game of a doubleheader at Wendell Pickens Field.
Having started its season outscoring the opposition 50-8, the Pirate offense got off to a quick start in the bottom of the second inning with three consecutive singles by freshman infielder David Morgan, sophomore infielder Murphy Stehly and sophomore utilityman Jacob Gentry.
With the bases loaded and no outs, sophomore outfielder Javier Rosales lined a double to clear the bases allowing the Pirates to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Rosales would eventually score on sophomore outfielder Skylar Limonchi’s sacrifice fly.
Coast’s offense continued to impress when Gentry stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning and drove in three runs when he hit his first homerun of the season to right field, extending the Pirate lead to 11-3.
“The kids played well, every time they [Mt. Sac] scored, we scored right back. It really kept the momentum on our side,” head coach John Altobelli said. “The kids are playing hard and that’s all I can ask for at this stage.”
Freshman infielder Ryan O’Halloran continued to impress early in the season when he hit a ball past the diving centerfielder and advanced all the way back home for an inside-the-park home run scoring three runs in the third inning. O’Halloran has been a major force on the Pirate offense, batting .471 on the season with eight RBI’s.
After starting pitcher freshman Brenden Argomaniz began to struggle in the fifth inning, head coach, John Altobelli handed the ball over to his bullpen, who currently boast the best ERA in the state.
OCC’s bullpen of freshmen Nick Merkin, Jamie Olson and Eric Krueger continued the Pirate relief dominance by allowing three runs through 4 and 2/3rd innings of work.
“When you get a lead like that you want to get some guys some work and some opportunities to do some things,” Altobelli said. “It was good to get kids in the game to see what they can do.”
However, all was not positive on the diamond for the Pirates, when Altobelli and sophomore infielder Tristan Hanoian were ejected in the top of the ninth inning. Altobelli argued with the plate umpire when a previously agreed umpire switch late in the game was not allowed.
Altobelli explained the umpire switch was to allow the incoming home plate umpire to be ready immediately following the first game of the doubleheader due to the forecasted rain that was slated to hit Costa Mesa.
Because of the heavy rains in the recent weeks, the Pirates had been forced to play all its games on its own turf, including Friday’s games that had been originally been scheduled to be played at Mt. San Antonio.
“I want to get these guys on the road so we can get them some road tests,” Altobelli said. “We’ll take it one day at a time from here and see what happens, but the kids have responded well.”
The Pirates will return to action at home today as the team takes on College of the Canyons at noon.