A week after clinching yet another Orange Empire Conference championship, Orange Coast College traveled to Santa Ana for the last baseball series of the year.
After dropping the first two conference games of their series against Santa Ana College (SAC), the Pirates finished off their year with a commanding win to close out the shortened, playoff-absent season.
In the opening game of the series, the Dons came out swinging, scoring six runs in the first two innings against OCC, eventually leading to a 8-3 win for SAC. The Pirates only strung six hits together, five of which came from the first four hitters in the OCC lineup. Second baseman Tyler Weaver, centerfielder Chazz Martinez, and designated hitter Ryan O’Halloran each had an RBI in the losing effort.
OCC fought back in the Tuesday game, leading into the sixth inning before SAC would respond with a six-run inning to take the lead from the Pirates. Again, OCC was only able to put five hits on the board, leaving nine runners on base in the 9-5 loss. In addition to a five-inning outing, OCC top prospect Martinez also hit a solo home run in the second game of the series.
In the final game of the 2021 regular season, the Pirate bats finally woke up on campus at Wendell Pickens Field resulting in OCC running away with a 8-0 victory. Five different hitters drove in a run, but only one was needed as starting pitcher Kelly Austin threw a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and striking out nine. Austin finished the year first in ERA (1.57) and wins (6), and third in strikeouts (57) out of the entire OEC.
The Pirates close out the year with a 20-7-1 record overall, and 14-4 in conference play.
Martinez ended the year tied for home runs in the OEC with eight, while rightfielder Cary Arbolida, and shortstop David Morgan were among the top five in the category. Arbolida was also fifth in the conference in RBI (20).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cancellations, no postseason will be played at the conference or state level, and all games played in the regular season were considered exhibitions.