COSTA MESA — The Orange Coast College baseball team picked up its fourth straight win to start the 2017 season, but for longtime head coach John Altobelli, Friday's 5-3 win over Cuesta at Wendell Pickens Field was a tad bigger ... career win No. 600.
Altobelli (600-441-3), OCC baseball's all-time leader in wins, becomes just the 20th head coach in history of California Community College baseball to reach 600 victories.
"It's an honor to be able to do what I do for as long as I've done it," Altobelli said, looking back on 25 years as head coach of the Pirates. "These 600 wins are special to me, but they never would've happened if not for the amazing support from my coaches throughout the years and the hard work and effort put in by our players. It's all about the young guys I've been lucky enough to coach — they're the ones responsible for all this."
Coast (4-0) flexed its muscles again on Friday, launching three more home runs which provided all of the scoring output against the Cougars (2-4).
Trailing, 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Eric Wagaman led off with a walk and was followed up by a two-run home run off the bat of Jacob Doty which tied the game at 2.
One inning later, Wagaman picked up a solo blast down the left-field line to put Coast ahead, 3-2.
Nik Pagan tied the game in the top of the sixth for the Cougars with a sacrifice fly to center which scored Robbie Silva on the play, but in the bottom of the frame, Ramiro Velasco launched a two-run home run to left, putting OCC ahead, 5-3.
McKinley LeFore (1-0) picked up the win in relief, throwing three innings and allowing just one run on two hits, before John Balliet blanked the Cougars over the final two innings for his first save of the year.
Doty and Velasco each had two hits, a run and two RBI for the Pirates, while Wagaman added a hit, scored twice and drove in a run.