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Community College Baseball : Rancho Santiago, OCC Will Settle More Than Series

Times Staff Writer

The Rancho Santiago and Orange Coast College baseball teams will meet today for the fifth and most important time this season.

The winner of today’s 1 p.m. game at Rancho Santiago advances to the third round of the Southern California Regionals. The season ends for the loser. The Orange Empire Conference members have split four regular-season meetings.

Rancho Santiago (28-15) will start sophomore left-hander Willie Navarrette (10-4), who will make his first start against OCC this season. Jack Bailey started the first four games against OCC.

OCC (31-10-1) will counter with sophomore right-hander John Douris (7-3), who won his only start against Rancho Santiago this season.

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Once the game gets to the late innings, OCC will most likely turn to left-handed reliever Eddie Pierce, who also starts in right field. He is 4-0 with five saves and hasn’t allowed a run in 13 of his 15 appearances. He has a 1.91 earned-run average.

OCC defeated Los Angeles Valley, 8-6, and Rancho Santiago defeated East Los Angeles, 15-3, in the first round Thursday.

In the other second-round game at 1 p.m., Cerritos plays host to San Diego Mesa. The winners of today’s game will advance to the double-elimination third round.

The OCC/Rancho Santiago winner will play Cypress at 11 a.m. May 19. Palomar and Los Angeles Harbor play at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be at Rancho Santiago.

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The Cerritos/Mesa winner advances to play Long Beach at 11 a.m. May 19. Ventura plays Mt. San Jacinto at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be at Cerritos College.

The winner of each of the regional sites advances to the state tournament May 26-28 in Sacramento.


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