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OCC baseball wins with late rally

Community College Baseball

Rademacher's eighth-inning home run breaks 3-3 tie and keys season sweep of Cypress.

March 22, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
(Scott Smeltzer…)

COSTA MESA — With a 21-2-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in the state, it's becoming easier to talk about what the Orange Coast College baseball team hasn't yet accomplished than what it has.

The Pirates crossed another of the former off its list Thursday, getting some late-inning heroics to seal the deal in a 5-3 Orange Empire Conference triumph over visiting Cypress.

Freshman outfielder Bijan Rademacher hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that broke a 3-3 tie and propelled OCC, ranked No. 2 in one national poll, to its fifth straight win. It was the first time in any of their victories that the Pirates rallied from behind or tied after the sixth inning.

Rademacher's blast, his fourth homer of the season, capped his two-for-four day that produced three runs batted in. The dinger was a bit reluctant, as the Cal State Fullerton bounce-back entered his game-winning at-bat intent on giving himself up.

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"I came in after we got three outs in the [top of the eighth] and I asked Coach [John Altobelli] 'If [Stefan] Sabol gets on [to start the inning], what do you want me to do, bunt or hit and run?'" Rademacher said. "I was just looking to advance the runner, so we could get one run, then go shut [the Chargers] down in the ninth."

After Sabol singled, Rademacher, whose three RBIs tied him with teammate Chris Carlson for the second most in the state this season (31), got the 2-0 green light and swung through a strike.

"I was looking to drive the ball on the 2-0 pitch," he said. "Then, I got the bunt sign."

His sacrifice bunt attempt, however, rolled foul of the first-base line, making the count 2-2 and taking any play off the table.

"It really didn't trouble me that much, because I know I'm a good two-strike hitter and I could put the ball in play and still [advance the runner to second]," Rademacher said. "The next pitch happened to be low and in, where I like it and I made good contact and got it to go out."

OCC fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning, when the Chargers (14-7, 4-5), ranked No. 4 in Southern California, used three hits and a double steal to seize the momentum against freshman ace Brandon Brennan, who entered the game 6-1.

Rademacher singled in Carlson, who was hit by a pitch to open the fourth, and OCC pulled ahead in the fifth when Sabol, using a wood bat, singled in two runs with two outs against Cypress reliever Ricky Schafer.

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