Orange Coast College baseball swept Irvine Valley College (IVC) over three games of interconference play this past week.
The Pirates and Lasers first went head-to-head on Tuesday, in a nail-biting contest that saw IVC bring the tying run to the plate before OCC relief pitcher Jusin Goldstein shut the door on the opening game of the series.
Pirates' third baseman Nolan Funke produced over half of the team’s runs in his 3-4 day at the plate, driving in three, and scoring two in OCC’s 7-6 victory.
On Thursday, the Pirates picked up where they left off, scoring three runs in the first inning and providing the run support necessary for lefty pitcher Chazz Marinez to toss five quality innings, allowing only one earned run on two hits. Relief pitcher Alex Shadid also threw four scoreless innings to close out the second game of the series, 5-1.
Concluding the series, OCC and IVC played a doubleheader Friday; with one seven-inning non-conference exhibition and another nine-inning conference matchup.
The Lasers were able to force a tie in the exhibition, after IVC First Baseman Casey Kudell hit a sac fly in the 7th inning. For the Pirates, starting pitcher Cameron Mahaffy threw five scoreless innings, striking out seven Relief pitcher Spencer Axe threw one scoreless frame in extra innings to solidify the tie at 3-3.
Completing the conference sweep, OCC defeated IVC 8-2, behind 10 collective hits and a stellar seven-inning, 10-strikeout scoreless outing from starting pitcher Kelly Austin.
“I wish I could have kept my pitch count down a little earlier, but I can’t complain,” Austin said. “It’s always good when the offense can put up some runs for you.”
The Pirates are now 6-1-1 overall, 5-1 in conference, and are batting .310 over their first two series of the exhibition season.
“We came out a little funky in that first game against Fullerton, but since then we’ve definitely been able to find our stride,” Austin said. “We have such a loaded team this year, and it was more so of how we were going to fit all these great players in the lineup.”
Next week, Coach Nate Johnson’s squad will travel to Golden West for another four game series against the conference-rival Rustlers.