Game date: March 30, 2012.
Sophomore right-hander Garrett Wilson tossed his team-leading third complete game as the Dons fended off a Pirates comeback to win 7-6 over visiting Orange Coast College.
“My control helped keep my pitch count down,” Wilson said. “I threw pitches they’d make outs on in early counts and the umpire had a good zone. I only threw 103 pitches.”
Wilson scattered six runs, five earned, on eight hits over the nine innings pitched. He only walked one batter while striking out three.
“I was able to keep the ball down and kept them guessing on first pitches with curveballs and sliders,” Wilson said. “I really had everything working today. They couldn’t key in on one pitch.”
Pirates’ freshman outfielder Bijan Rademacher picked up the only extra-base hits off Wilson fastballs. Wilson might as well have told Rademacher, who smacked a homer and a triple, scoring three of the six OCC runs.
“They pounded me away, mostly with off speed pitches. So I got a sense of what they were doing,” Rademacher said. “I was looking away, I saw the mistake up and I let my hands go through the zone. I got lucky on that pitch, it just went out.”
The Pirates tacked on another with a sacrifice fly in the top half of the seventh.
The Dons (19-7 overall, 8-5 OEC) trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning as freshman Tyler Madrid walked to the plate representing the game-tying run. Sophomore Andy Peterson stood on first base after leading off the inning with a single. Madrid turned on a middle-in fastball from Orange Coast righty Josh Evans, depositing it over the right field fence for a two run homerun.
“That’s the type of thing you play baseball for,” Madrid said. “You want to be in that type of situation and get that outcome.”
Four runs scored.
Pirates’ starter Brandon Brennan threw five and two-thirds innings, surrendering three runs on five hits. Brennan battled control issues, walking five and hitting one batter.
“It is just one of those days where you don’t have your best stuff, so you try to battle through throwing the best stuff you can,” Brennan said.
Some home-field groundskeeping may have led to some of Brennan’s struggles.
“I was a little uncomfortable throughout the game today. I was trying to get used to the mound at first. It is more of a flatter mound,” Brennan said. “Almost like throwing on flat ground. But it also had two big holes in it. So it was a little awkward getting used to it.”
The Pirates (24-3-1 overall, 11-2 OEC) gave the Dons every opportunity to break the game open, committing four fielding errors and allowing 10 free passes.
“On the whole pitching side, I think that was our weakest performance by far. Brandon battled but he was behind a lot,” OCC Head Coach John Altobelli said. “Guys coming out of the bullpen didn’t do a good job. Walking guys and hitting guys is going to come back to bite you every time, and it did.”
But the Dons could not capitalize, leaving 10 runners on base.
The Dons next play Tuesday, at 2 p.m., as the team host Mt. San Jacinto College in the Hard Ball Classic.
Other Dons’ Baseball games coverage for Spring 2012:
Game coverage 3/27/2012: Dons escape Hornets’ nest
Game coverage 3/14/2012: Dons overpower Gauchos
Game coverage 3/6/2012: Pirates sink Dons
Game coverage 3/3/2012: Dons sting Hornets
Game coverage 3/1/2012: Tigers pounce early in conference opener
Game coverage 2/25/2012: Seven pitchers combine on three-hitter for Dons’ win
Game coverage 2/24/2012: Dons beat Huskies to mush
Game coverage 2/23/2012: Dons avenge loss in hit parade
Game coverage 2/16/2012: Dons capitalize on Falcon errors
Game coverage 2/11/2012: Doubles allow Dons to tie up Brahmas