HUNTINGTON BEACH — If, as their two previous meetings suggest, the Golden West College baseball team had rival Orange Coast's number, it was the Pirates who left the Rustlers with a few impressive numbers to ponder in a 17-5 Orange Empire Conference victory Thursday at Golden West.
OCC (25-5, 10-5 in conference) had 11 players contribute to its 20-hit attack, paced by sophomore first baseman Jordan Beck.
Beck went four for five with a walk and drove in four runs to bring his team-leading total to 37 RBIs. He also scored four times and had one of his team's five stolen bases.
The game offered some redemption for the Pirates, who lost to the Rustlers, 4-1, on Tuesday and 7-5 on March 10.
The win also allows the Pirates to pull within one game of conference-leading Santa Ana, which lost to third-place Riverside on Thursday. OCC visits Santa Ana on Saturday and plays host to the Dons on Tuesday. OCC has won nine of its last 10.
Freshman Chad Thompson pitched six strong innings to earn the victory, improving to 2-0. Thompson, a former blue-chip prospect before undergoing Tommy John surgery his senior year at El Toro High, struck out seven, while allowing six hits and two earned runs. He walked three in his longest collegiate outing.
"He had pretty good velocity today," OCC Coach John Altobelli said of Thompson, who has a 1.78 earned-run average in 251/3 innings. He has appeared in six games and started five. "He's coming along at a great pace and that's exciting for us as we go along toward the playoffs."
Sophomore second baseman Zach Chavez was three for four with an RBI, two runs and a stolen base.
Sophomore third baseman Colton Hamill was two for three with three RBIs, while his replacement, sophomore Sam Michaels, was two for two with two RBIs.
Sophomore center fielder Scott Cho was three for six with two runs, while freshman left fielder Chris Carlson was one for three with three walks, three runs and one RBI.
Sophomore right fielder Steven McMichael came off the bench to go two for four with one RBI and one run.
Seven Golden West pitchers combined to walk six and hit a batter, and the Rustlers (12-16, 4-11) committed four errors.
OCC batted around in the second, when it scored six runs on six hits. It also batted around while scoring five in the seventh. The Pirates left 12 runners on base. It's the ninth time this season that OCC has scored at least 10 runs.
Orange Empire Conference
Orange Coast 17, Golden West 5
SCORE BY INNINGS
OCC 160 203 500 – 17 20 0
GWC 011 000 030 – 5 9 4
Thompson, Schmidt (7), Hartwell (8), O'Keefe (8) and Woodward, Hugaert (8); Syrett, Green (2), Moak (4), Huskins (6), Brewer (6), Overeem (7), Zeimer (7) and Hernandez, Sims (8). W – Thompson, 2-0. L – Syrett, 3-4. 2B – McMichael (OCC), Beck (OCC), Michaels (OCC), Cooper (GWC), Sims (GWC). 3B – Hamill (OCC), Ochoa (GWC). HR – Baccari (GWC).