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College baseball: Bats are no match

COC has trouble against tough Orange Coast pitching

Posted: February 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons outfielder Connor Garelick can’t make the catch against Orange Coast on Thursday at COC. Orange Coast won 9-1.

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College of the Canyons baseball found out why Orange Coast is undefeated through the first 12 games of the season when the two met at COC on Thursday afternoon.

The Pirates used a quality pitching performance to keep COC off the board for most of the contest and pulled away with a big fifth inning to defeat Canyons 9-1 and improve to 12-0-1.

Canyons (5-3-1) fell behind early in the contest, giving up a run in the third inning, and was never able to mount any substantial offensive until its final at bats.

Brandon Brennan, the Pirates ace went six innings and struck out seven to get the win.

“He pitched well,” said Canyons first baseman Jake Jelmini. “He had a pretty good slider and his fast ball had some movement.”

The slow start quickly turned into a blowout as the Pirates turned it on in the middle innings.

With one out and no one on base in the fifth inning, Orange Coast’s Ben Agredano doubled the Pirates’ lead with a solo home run off the scoreboard in left field.

Justin Broussard followed up by doubling down the left field line and advanced to third on a bloop double by Bogo Powell that was misplayed by COC centerfielder James Bonds.

The Pirates’ Chris Carlson sent a grounder in the hole between third and short to score two and give the Pirates a commanding 4-0 lead halfway through the contest.

Orange Coast added to its lead in the sixth inning when Broussard hit a deep drive off the left field wall for his second double in as many innings, scoring two runs to increase the lead to 6-0.

The Pirates continued to add to the margin, tacking on three runs in the seventh.

“Our style is taking care of the little things and keeping the pressure on,” said Orange Coast head coach John Altobelli "Last year we walked in here 14-0 and (Canyons beat us).”

The game featured two of the top hitters in the state in Orange Coast’s Powell and COC’s Jelmini.

Powell entered the game batting .577 — third in the state and finished 0-for-5 with a run scored.

Jelmini, who entered with a .552 batting average that ranked sixth in the state, went 2-for-4. Jelmini was the only COC player to notch at least two hits.

COC’s John Salas started on the mound and took the loss to drop to 2-1 on the year. He went 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, and striking out one.

“I thought we’d be able to compete,” said Canyons head coach Chris Cota. “Pretty disheartening. I don’t know that we were ready to play.”

Fortunately for COC that hasn’t been the norm this season.

The Cougars were coming off a 12-12 tie with Golden West on Tuesday and hadn’t lost in their previous five games.

COC will get another shot at Orange Coast on Saturday when they take on the Pirates on the road at Noon.

“We’re fine right now,” Cota said. “We’ve been playing well and we’ll continue to play well.”

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