COSTA MESA, Calif. – For eight of the nine innings played on Saturday afternoon, No. 11 El Camino College outscored No. 2 Orange Coast College. Unfortunately for ECC, the Pirates put together a huge inning in the seventh and that proved to be the difference as the Pirates eliminated the Warriors, 7-4, in the California Community College Baseball Southern California Sectionals.
Spencer Long did the rest for six innings, allowing just three hits against the Pirates and keeping them off the scoreboard.
But things fell apart in the seventh inning for the Warriors as the first three hitters reached on a double, walk and RBI double to start the frame. A sacrifice fly made it 4-2 and then Murphy Stehly drew a walk, putting runners on the corners and ending Long's day on the mound.
Max Pappas entered the game and induced a comebacker to the mound. He snagged it, whirled around and threw to second but the runner was ruled safe, allowing a run to score and keeping the Pirates' threat alive.
Landon Silver then worked a walk to load the bases and another sacrifice fly to center tied the game up.
Silver would steal second and then Coby Kauhaahaa capped off the inning with a two-run single to give OCC its first lead of the game.
Gus Culpo then entered the game and shut down the Warriors offense, tossing three innings of hitless relief. He struck out seven of the 11 batters he faced including the side in the ninth inning to slam the door and send the Pirates to the CCCAA State Championships.
The Warriors finish the year two wins shy of making a return trip to the CCCAA State Championships.