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Miscues hurt Pirates

Santa Ana takes advantage of errors in big eighth inning, widens conference lead to two games.

April 09, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com
  • Orange Coast College's Colton Hamill, right, safely steals second base as Santa Ana College's Treveor Magno waits for the throw during Saturday's game at Santa Ana College.
Orange Coast College's Colton Hamill, right, safely… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

SANTA ANA — Orange Coast College sophomore pitcher Ryan Doran battled inning after inning, matching Santa Ana sophomore lefty Ruben Orosco pitch for pitch.

Doran didn't catch many breaks in the key Orange Empire Conference game Saturday afternoon at Santa Ana College.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the defense behind him didn't catch many balls.

Three errors in the frame helped the hosts score four runs, the difference in a 5-1 Santa Ana victory that keeps the Dons alone in first place in the conference.

Santa Ana (20-8, 13-3 in conference) has a two-game lead on second-place Orange Coast (25-6, 11-5) with five games to go. The Dons can go for the season series sweep when the teams play again Tuesday at OCC.

Doran (5-3) tried to help the Pirates, ranked No. 1 in Southern California, pull even with the No. 3 Dons in conference. He went 7 1/3 innings and allowed four runs, three earned. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter.

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"He pitched awesome," OCC Coach John Altobelli said of Doran, who lost for the first time since a 4-3 loss to Santa Ana on March 12. "That's twice now that he's pitched really well against these guys, and he's got two Ls to show for it unfortunately. He's a competitor and I thought he pitched really well."

Santa Ana broke open a 1-1 tie in the eighth. With runners on first and second and one out, Santa Ana's Adrian Garcia bunted down the third-base line. Pirates third baseman Colton Hamill picked the ball up and one-hopped it to first, where Jordan Beck couldn't quite dig it out. The ball bounced back into the infield, allowing the Dons' Dylan Jones to score.

Altobelli called on reliever Josh Evans, who was greeted with a hard-hit smash up the middle from Santa Ana's Danny Recio. The umpire dove out of the way of the ball before it went past the shortstop and into center field, scoring another run. Hamill advanced on the play and scored when the throw to third base got away.

The third miscue was a fielding error on Dominick Solley's grounder to the right side. It was a possible inning-ending double play, but the throw to second got away as Recio scored the Dons' final run. Santa Ana Coach Don Sneddon, trying to win his 16th conference title in 30 years as coach, could only smile in the home dugout.

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