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.