Pirates pack one-two punch with Brennan and Yuhl

Community College Baseball

Starters Brennan, Yuhl are both 11-1, but both have taken different paths to success this season for top-seeded OCC.

May 17, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
  • Orange Coast College sophomore pitcher Keegan Yuhl, the Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year, is 11-1 and has a 1.88 ERA in 91 innings, spanning 12 starts. He has two saves with 74 strikeouts and 21 walks. He has allowed 92 hits.
Orange Coast College sophomore pitcher Keegan Yuhl,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Their eye-popping stats are close to identical, but their attributes and stories are as dissimilar as a bloop and a blast.

Together, they comprise one of the two best one-two starting pitching combinations in California. But when taken individually, they represent both confirmation of and a challenge to the general baseball consensus regarding the projection of potential to performance at the sport's highest level.

Orange Coast College freshman Brandon Brennan is the power-pitching prototype, standing 6-foot-4, 220 pounds with a fastball clocked as high as 95 mph. He was drafted in the 40th round by the Colorado Rockies out of high school, before heading to the University of Oregon.

OCC sophomore Keegan Yuhl, listed at 6-0, 220 pounds, both of which might fudge somewhat in his favor, appears more in need of a personal trainer than an agent. His fastball ranges from 88 to 92 mph and, despite a 29-4 record in three varsity seasons at Poway High in San Diego County, he was largely ignored by scouts before heading to San Diego State.


Going into the California Community College Athletic Assn. Baseball Championship, a four-team, double-elimination tournament Friday through Sunday at Bakersfield College, Brennan and Yuhl are both 11-1.

Brennan, who is expected to start the Pirates' second game on Saturday, has a 1.12 earned-run average in 98 1/3 innings, spanning 13 starts. He has allowed only 68 hits while striking out 65 and walking 22.

Yuhl, expected to start the opener Friday at noon against Sierra (25-15-1), has a 1.88 ERA in 91 innings, spanning 12 starts. The Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year has two saves with 74 strikeouts and 21 walks. He has allowed 92 hits.

"They've been great all year," said OCC Coach John Altobelli, whose 36-5-1 squad won the school's first outright conference title since 1987, earned the No. 1 ranking in one national poll, and is the top seed for the state tournament. "Most teams hope to have one guy like this on their staff. But to have two of them, obviously, makes for a special year. And that's kind of what is going on now."

Brennan has committed to play at the University of Houston next year. But, projected by some to be drafted in the first five rounds in June, he is anxious to begin a professional career.

A former standout at Capistrano Valley High, he said his craft was not then honed well enough to produce success at the Division I level.

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