YOU ARE HERE: Daily Pilot HomeCollectionsOcc

Beck OCC's Mr. Clutch

Community College Baseball

Pirates' infielder has been the master of the big hit, though his 43 RBIs do not include a home run.

May 12, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,
(Kent Treptow / Daily…)

One baseball expression for runners on base is ducks on the pond. For Orange Coast College sophomore infielder Jordan Beck this season, it has been more like fish in a barrel.

The Orange Empire Conference Co-MVP, who has helped lead OCC (30-8) into a Southern California Super Regional beginning Friday at 3 p.m. against Santa Barbara at Santa Ana College, has been the ultimate offensive opportunist.

Beck, without the aid of a home run and with only seven extra-base hits, has driven in a team-best 43 runs with his 52 hits in 2011. His 42 regular-season RBIs ranked No. 3 in the state and helped the Pirates score 300 runs in 36 regular-season games, which also ranked No. 3 among California community colleges.

So, with very little power — the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has just 11 extra-base hits in 232 collegiate at-bats — one might wonder how Beck has been so productive this season.


But OCC Coach John Altobelli is not among those who might be stumped.

"Beck has been ridiculous," Altobelli said. "I thought Brett Wallach [a former Southern California Player of the Year who led OCC to the state title in 2009 before being drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Dodgers] was good in two-out, two-strike RBI situations and we were going to call those Wallachs. But I think we may have to start calling them Becks, because he did an even better job in those situations than I think Brett did."

Altobelli and Beck said his willingness to choke up, shorten his swing and merely try to put the ball in play with two strikes, has led to the best year of a baseball career that, for Beck, began in Tee Ball. The numbers bear out Beck's success during situations in which Altobelli calls for his players to "Tiger up."

Beck, who has alternated between shortstop and first base and hit primarily in the No. 3 spot, is batting .379 with runners in scoring position, including a .571 mark with the bases loaded (four for seven). He is hitting .376 with runners on base, .308 with two outs, and has 13 two-out RBIs.

Perhaps most impressive, he has 25 at-bats with a runner on third base and fewer than two outs and has driven the runner home 22 times, an astounding 88% success rate.

"He has worked hard and bought into the idea of shortening up with two strikes, widening his stance and just getting the barrel of the bat above the ball," Altobelli said. "He's the proof in the pudding that it can be done if you buy into it."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles