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Pirates self-destruct in loss to Dons

Community College Baseball

OCC's four errors lead to three unearned runs as it misses chance to share Orange Empire lead.

March 22, 2014|By Barry Faulkner

Amid a four-team logjam within one game of the Orange Empire Conference lead, one would think Orange Coast College was dealing with enough competition. But the No. 1-ranked baseball team in Southern California found a way to add yet another opponent on Saturday: Itself.

The Pirates committed four errors that led to three unearned runs, made other poor decisions not reflected in the scorebook, and virtually wasted a chance to join a tie atop the OEC standings in an 8-6 loss to visiting Santa Ana.

The setback drops OCC (18-6, 6-4 in conference) from a three-way tie for second into sole possession of fourth place in the conference. Santa Ana (16-7, 7-3) joins defending champion Fullerton and Saddleback in a three-way tie for the lead, nearly halfway through the 21-game OEC schedule.

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"We came in tied with Santa Ana, which is a good team and a good program," OCC Coach John Altobelli said. "I would have thought [OCC players] would have come in a little bit more hungry and more focused. In the first inning, we gave up three runs on not one ball hit out of the infield. I thought the guys did a good job battling back, but we just kept kind of shooting ourselves in the foot when we had chances to do some things."

The Dons, who OCC handled, 5-0, in the opening round of conference play on March 1, opened the game with an infield single, a walk and a bunt single to load the bases against starting pitcher Art Vidro, who came in 4-1.

Cleanup hitter Garrett Brown hit a soft bouncer to third baseman Ryan Perez, who clearly had a play at the plate to force the lead runner. But Perez dropped the ball on the exchange from his glove to his throwing hand and Philip Anderson scored on the error.

Daniel Martinez followed with a walk to plate another run and a third run scored on a double play to give the Dons, who were outhit, 14-11, the early edge.

For the second straight game, OCC leadoff man Cody Bruder opened the first inning with a triple, then scored on a groundout by L. Grant Davis. Singles by Cody Nulph and Tommy Bell and a walk to Chris Iriart loaded the bases with one out, but Perez hit into a double play to end the threat.

A double play short-circuited a potential OCC rally in the second and the Pirates stranded four more combined runners while scoring single runs in the third and fifth innings.

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