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State Community College Baseball Tournament : Orange Coast Strands Its Chances for Championship on the Bases

Orange Coast College had all the right people at the plate but had all the wrong results Sunday night as it was eliminated from the state community college baseball tournament.

OCC left 15 runners on base as Cerritos defeated the Pirates, 4-3, in the championship game of the losers’ bracket at San Jose Municipal Stadium.

Cerritos (44-5), which eliminated defending state champion College of the Canyons, 10-7, earlier Sunday, advances to play Sacramento City in the championship today at noon. Cerritos must win the first game to force a second game.

OCC (35-13) started the day as one of two undefeated teams in the tournament but lost the semifinal game to Sacramento City, 7-5, Sunday afternoon. In the Sacramento City game, OCC stranded 12. OCC left 39 runners on in the four tournament games.

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Joey James, who has 68 RBI this season, struck out in the first and seventh with two runners on each time. James did come back to single with two on in the ninth to load the bases.

Dave Staton, who had 52 RBIs this season, struck out in the ninth inning against Pat Sweet, who replaced starter David Villegas after James had singled.

Staton also grounded out to end the seventh with two runners on.

Mark Rasmussen flied to short center for the second out of the ninth but Brent Mayne lined a ball up the middle that was ruled an error on shortstop Brian Grebeck to score two runs. But with the tying run on third, Mike Misuraca struck out to end the game and the season for OCC.

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“We had the right people up in the right situations,” Mike Mayne, OCC coach, said. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for us this year. Man, we sure had the right guys up there tonight and this afternoon.”

OCC, which left two runners on in each of seven innings, also had chance to get back in the game in the eighth when Rasmussen reached on an error and Misuraca walked. But Villegas (4-1) struck out Mike Lujan and J.J. Culpepper to end the inning.

OCC had defeated Cerritos, 6-1, Saturday to advance to the winner’s bracket semifinal.

Cerritos took a 1-0 lead in the first when Bret Barbarie walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Brian Hunter.

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Hunter walked with two outs in the third and scored on a double by Craig Wilson. Hunter singled, was sacrificed to second and scored on a RBI single by Perry Sanchez in the fifth. Hunter then hit a solo home run, his 11th, in the seventh to give Cerritos a 4-1 lead.

OCC scored on an RBI single by Lujan in the fourth.

Jim Foley (10-3) pitched a complete game but took the loss for OCC. It was the first time in his last five starts that Foley got past the sixth inning. It was also the fourth complete game of the tournament for OCC, which had 11 before the tournament.

In Sunday’s earlier semifinal game, Sacramento (49-6) scored five runs in the fourth to take control. Gary Forrester hit two solo home runs for Sacramento, one in the sixth and one in the eighth. OCC had a chance to tie the score with runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth but Mayne lined out shortstop Forrester to end the game.

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Clyde Keller (17-0) allowed 13 hits but got the complete-game victory. Misuraca (2-2) allowed 13 hits.


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