OCC ace keys shutout

Community College Baseball

Yuhl, part of combined shutout, improves to 11-1 to help Pirates open Super Regional well.

May 11, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
  • Orange Coast College's Keegan Yuhl pitches to Rowan Wick of Cypress.
Orange Coast College's Keegan Yuhl pitches to Rowan… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

COSTA MESA — Though nailing a pick to click in the batting order has proved to be a daily exercise in serendipity, the Orange Coast College baseball team has experienced far less variance in the performance of its two ace starting pitchers.

Sophomore Keegan Yuhl held up his half of the bargain on the bump Friday, as the host Pirates blanked Cypress, 3-0, in the opening round of the four-team, double-elimination Southern California Super Regional.

The Pirates (34-4-1), ranked No. 1 in the state, as well as one national poll, will face Mt. San Antonio (31-8) in Saturday's winner's bracket semifinal at 11 a.m., hoping to advance to Sunday's championship game(s). The winner of the four-team Super Regional gets a spot in the four-team State Championship, held May 18-20 at Bakersfield Community College.

Yuhl, the Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year, won for the 11th time in 12 starts this season, getting back on track after a ninth-inning barrage halted his streak of 10 wins in 10 starts in a game the Pirates eventually won in extra innings on Saturday in the regional against Los Angeles Valley.


Yuhl, now 11-1 (his only loss came in relief, while he has two saves), allowed seven hits in eight-plus innings against the Chargers (24-15), against whom he had his only complete game of season on March 20. After allowing a leadoff single in the ninth, Yuhl gave way to freshman Bijan Rademacher, who earned his fourth save. Yuhl, who began his collegiate career at San Diego State, played last season at San Diego City College and has committed to play next season at New Mexico State, struck out three and walked none to lower his earned-run average from 2.08 to 1.88.

OCC sophomore Stefan Sabol blasted a towering, two-run home run to left in the second inning to give OCC all it would need. The Pirates' eight-hit attack also included a pair of singles by sophomore left fielder Chris Carlson and sophomore third baseman Austin Wobrock

Sabol, who missed 25 games with a broken bone in his hand to start the season, entered the postseason hitting .250 with one home run and 14 runs batted in. In three playoff games, Sabol, who has committed to Oklahoma State, is six for 13 with seven RBIs and two homers.

Carlson, the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year bound for New Mexico State, had missed the previous five games after bruising his right instep by fouling a ball off it on April 19. He was the designated hitter, as he can't yet run at full speed.

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