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Coast To Coast

Coast To Coast

Thursday, March 6, 2014

COSTA MESA -- Orange Coast College dropped a heartbreaking 2-1, 13-inning decision to visiting Cypress College on Thursday afternoon in a matchup between two of the top pitchers in all of California Community College baseball.

Neither pitcher disappointed as OCC's David Hill and Cypress' Steven Kane kept both offenses silent for most of the afternoon.

In the top of the second inning, Joe Duffin hit a solo home run -- his fourth of the season -- to put the Chargers (10-4, 1-0 in Orange Empire Conference) ahead, 1-0.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth before the Pirates (12-3, 0-1) took advantage of some sloppy Charger baseball to get even.

A leadoff walk by Cody Maples put the tying run on base. After Greg Espinosa pinch-ran for Maples, Jake Thumm laid down a sacrifice bunt right back to Kane. The 2013 OEC Pitcher of the Year threw the ball high to shortstop Grant Mayeaux and his throw to first sailed wide, putting runners on first and third with nobody out.

Daniel Delaney followed with an RBI-single to right which scored Espinosa to tie the game and moved Thumm to third, still with nobody out. Delaney finished as the lone Pirates with more than one hit, going 2-for-4.

But a costly baserunning error by the Pirates soon followed as Thumm was picked off of third. Kane retired the next two batters and the OCC rally was stopped there.

Kane threw nine innings and allowed one unearned run on just two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

Hill matched Kane pitch for pitch and finished his afternoon with one run allowed over 10 innings of work. The sophomore allowed six hits, one walk (his first walk allowed this season in 34 innings) and nine strikeouts. Despite these impressive numbers Hill's ERA actually went UP from 0.38 to 0.53.

Both teams had opportunities to score in extra innings and finally, the Chargers cashed in. With two outs and nobody on in the top of the 13th, Duffin blooped a single to center. Kramer Ferrell followed up with a run-scoring double to right-center off of Spencer Moran (0-1), scoring pinch-runner Trevor Meleski to make it 2-1.

Robert Longtree singled with one out in the bottom of the 13th, but was stranded there to end the game.

Chargers' reliever Matt Esparza (2-0) picked up the win, throwing three scoreless innings, allowing four hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.