Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chargers Drop OEC Opener at Coast

Three big innings by Orange Coast prove too much to overcome for Cypress in league opener.

Jake MacWilliam
Costa Mesa, Calif. - Cypress College (10-3, 0-1) had trouble getting its offense going in a 12-4 loss on the road to Orange Coast College (13-1, 1-0) in both schools Orange Empire Conference opening game.

Cypress starter Carl Robinson (2-1) had a rough outing to earn his first loss of the season, after allowing seven runs - all earned - on seven hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout in four innings on the hill.

The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the second with a four-run outburst that broke a scoreless tie. Cypress got one run back in the top of the fourth when Dylan Fitzgerald led off the inning with a double to left field, then moved up to second after the next two batters grounded out. A single to left by Jake Clark advanced Fitz to third base, and a single through the left side by Jake MacWilliam brought him in for the Chargers first run of the afternoon to make it a 4-1 contest.

An inning later Coast posted its second four-run inning of the ballgame in the bottom half of the fifth inning to stretch its lead to 8-1. Josh Anderson was the first of four Charger relievers to finish out the game for Cypress. Ricky Schafer, Jake Tillinghast and Stephen Derr were the other three to pitch for Cypress out of the bullpen.

OCC's starting pitcher Brandon Brennen (5-0) gave up another run to the Chargers in the top of the seventh when MacWilliam scored on a wild pitch all the way from second base to make it an 8-2 game. Brennen would get out of the inning, and finish his day with two runs allowed - both earned - on four hits, with four strikeouts, and two walks, in seven innings, to earn his fifth victory of the season.

Cypress got a rally going in the top of the eighth inning to cut the deficit in half when Dylan Moore hit a one-out double to left center, moved over to third on a passed ball, and scored on a single to left by Robert Chavarria to give Cypress its third run of the day. Back-to-back singles by Jonathan Torres and Clark brought Chavarria in to score and make it an 8-4 game.

In the bottom half of the inning, Orange Coast put the game out of reach with its third four-run inning of the game. That would close out the scoring for the game, and give OCC a 12-4 Orange Empire Conference victory at home in their league opener.

The Chargers will host Riverside Community College on Saturday, March 3 at noon in their OEC home opener.

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