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Pirates' backs to wall in Bakersfield

Sierra hands OCC first shutout in 96 games. Pirates must win four in two days to earn state crown.

May 18, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

"I felt good today, I did," said Yuhl, who lost for the first time in 13 starts (his other defeat came in relief). "I made good pitches and a couple of bad pitches. [The Wolverines] took advantage of their hits and a couple of errors. You know the baseball gods just weren't on our side today. We didn't play like us today. We've never been shut out all year. We're much more offensive and I'm usually a lot better than that. I'll wear it. I believe in us, though. There's nobody better than us."

Eagle, who improved to 11-2 and lowered his ERA from 1.57 to 1.45, struck out seven, walked two and hit one batter. He retired the first hitter in every inning but the ninth while surviving an OCC offense that stranded at least one runner in every inning. It was the fifth complete game of 2012 for Eagle, whose fused plant foot points toward third base, instead of home plate.

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"[Eagle] was just locating," Altobelli said of the 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander whom Sierra Coach Rob Wilson calls the most amazing player he has ever coached. "He threw a great game for them and you've got to tip your cap. The guy on the mound can dictate and he did. He did a good job."

Two of OCC's hits were bunt singles, but sophomore catcher Trent Woodward tripled and first baseman Bryan Garza doubled as each posted two hits.

Woodward, who tripled with two outs in the sixth inning, was the only OCC base runner to reach third base.

Freshman center fielder Boog Powell and sophomore pinch-hitter Robert Witt also managed hits for OCC, which came in batting .306 as a team.

Sierra leadoff man Jared Snow lined the first pitch of the game past Yuhl's head and into center for a single. After a sacrifice bunt moved Snow to second, Eddie Mora-Loera singled through the right side to open the scoring. Mora-Loara moved to second when the throw from right field skipped past Woodward. He went to third on a groundout, then scored when sophomore third baseman Austin Wobrock bobbled a grounder for the second error of the inning.

Kamen Kamoe belted a two-run home run to left field with two outs in the third for the final runs. It was only the second home run allowed all season by Yuhl, whose ERA rose to 2.08.

Sierra, which finished fourth in the Big 8 Conference, but is 6-0 in the postseason, had seven hits, but did not commit an error.

Yuhl said he plans to take the mound again Sunday, if OCC can win two on Saturday.

"I'm going to play a big factor in this and I plan to … I want to," Yuhl said. "I want the ball again. I'm not worried about our team. We're going to be fine. We've won four straight all year, so this isn't a big deal to us."

barry.faulkner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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CCCAA State Championship

Opening round

Sierra 4, Orange Coast 0

SCORE BY INNINGS

SC 202 000 000 – 4 7 0

OCC 000 000 000 – 0 6 2

Eagle and Brill; Yuhl, Bynum (5), J. Evans (7), Vandernaald (8) and Woodward. W – Eagle, 11-2. L – Yuhl, 11-2. 2B – Garza (OCC). 3B – Woodward (OCC). HR – Kamoe (SC).

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