Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coast Takes Series Over Cypress

Cypress led through six innings, but a Orange Coast scored in four straight innings to get the win.
Brad Hartong
Cypress, Calif. - Cypress College fell for the second time this season to Orange Coast College in Orange Empire Conference action at Cypress on Tuesday.

The Chargers (14-6, 4-4) threatened to score in the bottom of the first inning, when Jonathan Torres reached on an infield single, then stole second base to give Cypress a runner in scoring position with only one out. The Chargers weren't able to get the run home when the next two hitters  went down in order.

Cypress starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon cruised through the first two innings of the game by retiring the first six men he faced in order, but a leadoff double down the right field line in the top of the third by OCC's Bryan Garza put the Pirates in good position to grab the first lead of the game.The next batter was hit by a pitch, and the following batter reached on an infield single that trickled down the line.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, things weren't looking good for the Chargers. That is until Poncedeleon got the OEC's leading hitter, Boog Powell, to pop up for the first out of the inning. Coast's Joel Licon had a chance to bust open a big lead for the Pirates, but his line drive back to the pitcher turned into an inning-ending double play for the Chargers' defense, when Poncedeleon snagged it out of the air for out number two, then raced over to the third base bag to double up Garza who was going on the play.

Heading into the bottom half of the third inning, the game remained scoreless until Brad Hartong (2 for 3, 2 runs) led off with a single to left, then stole second base. Two batters later, Torres (2 for 4, 1 RBI) drove in Hartong with a single to right that gave Cypress a 1-0 advantage through three complete innings.

Neither offense could get much of anything going against the opposing pitcher, but OCC found a way to tie the game up in the top of the sixth when Licon scored on a sac fly to right by Bijan Rademacher that tied the game at 1-1.

The Pirates struck again in the seventh with another run to make it a 2-1 game after Poncedeleon got the first batter of the inning out, then put the next two men on base with the top of the order coming up for the Pirates. With OCC's hot-hitting lefty, Powell, coming to the plate against the right hander, Poncedeleon, a pitching change seemed eminent, but there was no call down to the bullpen this time around. Powell legged out an infield single to third that loaded the bases for Licon, who hit a sac fly to right that broke the 1-1 tie to give Coast a 2-1 lead.

OCC tacked on another run in the top of the eighth inning to go up by two runs. Cypress would answer back with a run in the bottom of the inning to get it back to a one-run affair when Brad Hartong scored his second run of the game after singling through the left side, and advancing to second on a throwing error by Yuhl on a failed pick off attempt to first base. Hartong moved over to third base on a ground out by Torres, then scored easily when Robert Chavarria (2 for 4, 1 RBI) hit a blooper down the right field line that dropped in between OCC's second baseman and right fielder to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

OCC would tack on another run in the ninth inning to regain a two-run edge at 4-2. The Pirates made that lead hold up with a scoreless last at bat by the Chargers that gave Coast the season series.

The two teams will meet again on Thursday at 2 p.m. in Costa Mesa for the final time in league play this year. On Saturday, Cypress travels to Riverside to take on the Tigers for the second time this season at noon.

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