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OCC advances to state tourney

Pirates rebound from 6-3 loss to put Glendale away, 16-1, and win Super Regional.

May 13, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

COSTA MESA — An Orange Coast College baseball team that had been larger than life most of the season, benefited from a healthy dose of mortality on Sunday to win the second championship game of the double-elimination Southern California Super Regional.

The 16-1 triumph over Glendale, which topped the Pirates, 6-3, in the first game Sunday, propels OCC (36-5-1), ranked No. 1 in one national poll, into the four-team California Community College Athletic Assn. State Championship, held Friday through Sunday at Bakersfield College.

OCC will meet Sierra College (25-15-1) in the first round on Friday at noon. Consumnes River (25-16) and Rio Hondo (38-3) round out the field in the double-elimination state tournament.

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Sophomore pitcher Eric Salcido allowed two hits in five shutout innings to earn the win and freshman right fielder Bijan Rademacher drove in five runs, including a grand slam that put the Pirates up, 8-0, in the fifth inning to key the clinching victory.

Salcido, who improved to 3-1 in his seventh start of the season, said a song played before he took the mound helped inspire him.

"The song ["There Goes my Hero" by the Foo Fighters] was played at my brother's funeral," Salcido said of his older brother Rudy Salcido, an Army National Guard Sergeant killed in action in Iraq in November of 2006. "It helps me know that he was with me out there on the mound."

Salcido said he also draws inspiration from a former San Dimas High baseball teammate who was killed in a car accident in the fall of 2009, just months after San Dimas won the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship at Angels Stadium, in a game that Salcido, an All-CIF honoree, pitched the final two innings to collect a save.

"I have a bracelet with [Eddie Miles] name on it and I wear it all the time," Salcido said of his late teammate. "Every time I go out on the mound, I say a little prayer for both of those guys to watch over me and be with me. Every time I pitch, I feel like my brother is right behind me."

Rademacher, who earned the save in the Pirates' first two Super Regional wins on Friday and Saturday and whose 10 postseason hits lead the team, said the opening loss Sunday helped provide a sense of urgency.

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