Detroit Tigers

Navarro, Robeniol help OCC close in on crown

IRVINE – It has been an incremental grind to the verge of an Orange Empire Conference title for the Orange Coast College baseball team.

Along the way, sophomore second baseman J.T. Navarro has faced an uphill climb of his own.

In Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Irvine Valley, Navarro surpassed a personal plateau to help the Pirates move within one win of at least a share of the conference crown with two OEC games left.

Navarro went five for five, including a two-run double in the seventh inning that proved to be the difference for the Pirates (30-8, 15-4 in conference), ranked No. 2 in the state.

Navarro, a second-team all-conference performer last season, when he hit a...