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Community College Baseball : Orange Coast Wins 17th Straight : Pirates Stop Rustlers to Remain Unbeaten in Conference

Orange Coast College ran its winning streak to 17 Thursday with a 5-3 win over Golden West in a South Coast Conference game at Orange Coast.

The No. 2-ranked Pirates, who are 12-0 in conference and 23-4 overall, have a three-game lead over Rancho Santiago at the halfway point of the conference race.

OCC right-hander Sam August, a freshman from Fountain Valley High School, pitched a complete game five-hitter and allowed only two earned runs to improve his record to 8-0.

The loss ended the Rustlers’ seven-game winning streak. Golden West is 7-6 in conference and 13-10 overall.

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August pitched well overall, but was shaky in spots.

In the eighth with Orange Coast ahead, 5-2, August walked Todd Nash and gave up a single to Darrin Tomasick. One out later, he walked Keith Kaub on four straight pitches after being ahead on the count, 0-2.

After a visit from Pirate Coach Mike Mayne, August worked out of the bases-loaded situation. He struck Eric Shirley out looking and induced Gary Renko to ground out.

The ninth inning was marred by a controversial call on a sinking line drive hit by Golden West’s George Lazalde. Pirate center fielder Ralph Ramirez looked as if he caught the ball, but was ruled to have trapped it.

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Lazalde moved to second when August hit pinch-hitter Jeff Olson in the leg. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch.

Lazalde scored on a ground out by Nash but then Tomasic grounded out to end the game.

Orange Coast trailed, 2-1, after three innings thanks in part to a series of mistakes by the Pirate defense in the second and a hit batter by August in the third.

After the Rustlers’ Keith Kaub singled up the middle to open the second, Eric Shirley hit a possible double-play grounder to third. However, second baseman Mike Lujan bobbled the throw and could only force Kaub.

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Designated hitter Gary Renko followed with a ground ball off the glove of third baseman Rob Gibbs and past left-fielder Joey James. The errors allowed Shirley to advance to third, from where he scored on a ground out by Lazalde.

August hit Todd Nash to open the third inning and after a sacrifice, Nash scored on an RBI single by Scott Rath.

The Pirates took the lead, 3-2 with two runs in the fifth. Lujan led off the inning with a single, and shortstop Brett Webber doubled to the fence in right-center field to tie the game at 2-2.

Sophomore catcher Paul Ellison looped a single into right field to score Webber and give the Pirates their first lead at 3-2.

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Gary Salaets relieved losing pitcher Dean Douty (2-4) after Ellison’s hit. Salaets struck out James and then retired designated hitter Dave Staton on a fly ball to left.

Salaets created some trouble of his own in the seventh when he walked Rex Peters and gave up a single to Gibbs.

Ellison’s sacrifice fly to center scored Peters. The second run of the inning was scored when James lined a the ball to right and Tomasick couldn’t catch it despite a diving try. It went as a triple, giving Orange Coast a 5-2 lead.

Orange Coast plays Rancho Santiago Saturday at noon at Santa Ana.

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In other South Coast Conference action:

Rancho Santiago 6, Cerritos 2--Sophomore right-hander Mike Schwabe (6-1) gave up three hits and had seven strikeouts for the Dons (6-7, 16-11) at Cerritos. John Rodriguez (4-4) took the loss for the Falcons (6-7, 16-11).

Cypress 10, Saddleback 5--Rick Nen had two hits and two RBIs, and teammate Mark Baca hit a two-run home run in the eighth, to lead the Chargers. Kurt Stewart (3-1) picked up the win for the third-place Chargers (8-4, 22-7). Rene Licon, Pat Longo and Jim Jackle each had two hits and one RBI for Cypress. John Seeburger had three hits to lead the Gauchos (5-7, 13-11).


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