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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).