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Evans extends for OCC

Community College Baseball

Freshman reliever blanks Cerritos for 6 2/3 innings to help OCC advance to final day of Super Regional at Santa Ana.

May 15, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,

SANTA ANA — The good news is, the Orange Coast College baseball team needs a pitching plan for Sunday. The less-encouraging news: the Pirates may have to spin said plan out of whole cloth.

Whoever takes the mound Sunday for what would need to be a pair of wins over host Santa Ana on the final day of the four-team, double-elimination Super Regional, will merely need to emulate the heroics displayed Saturday afternoon by freshman reliever Josh Evans.

Evans, who had compiled 32 2/3 innings in 22 appearances — all in relief — entering Saturday, most coming in the late innings as the team's closer, pitched a lifetime-high 62/3 innings to key an 11-8 come-from-behind win over Cerritos in an elimination game.


The Pirates were placed on the brink of elimination by falling, 8-3, earlier Saturday in the winner's bracket clash with Orange Empire Conference rival Santa Ana.

OCC (32-9) will square off against the Dons (29-12) Sunday at 11 a.m. on the Santa Ana diamond. Should OCC win the first game, a second game would follow 30 minutes later to decide which team will advance to the four-team state tournament that begins Friday in Bakersfield.

Evans, who said he had never thrown more than six innings in a game and who has been used exclusively in relief since Little League, allowed no runs on five hits to help his team to overcome an 8-5, third-inning deficit. It was his second win in the Super Regional after pitching the 10th inning of OCC's 9-8 walk-off victory over Santa Barbara on Friday. Evans is now 5-0 with a team-best seven saves.

"Going into the game, we were short on arms, being that it is deep in the season and everyone is sore and tired," Evans said. "I just had to step up for my team. I knew if I kept my team in the ballgame, we'd pull it out."

OCC starter Mike Smith gave up three runs in one inning, then Jed Vandernaald was touched for four runs (three earned), without recording an out.

Mitch Maltby allowed one run in 11/3, before Evans was summoned with one out and a runner on second base in the third inning.

OCC's offense, limited to eight hits by two Santa Ana hurlers in the first game Saturday, came out blasting against Cerritos (24-16). But despite scoring three runs in the first inning and two more in the second, the Pirates, the designated visitors, found themselves behind, 7-5, after two.

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