COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College baseball team used some late-inning offense to pull out a 7-6 Orange Empire Conference win over visiting Irvine Valley on Tuesday at Wendell Pickens Field.
Trailing 4-1 in the sixth, Coast finally found some success against IVC starter Jeremy Wiegman and managed to knock around the Lasers' bullpen for the rest of the ballgame. Wiegman did his part, allowing three runs on five hits in five-plus innings with nine strikeouts, but Coast found some life and took advantage of it.
In the bottom of the sixth, an infield single off the bat of Cary Arbolida was followed by an RBI-triple by Nolan Funke, trimming the deficit to 4-2. Three batters later, Brendan Guy singled home Funke to bring the Pirates (4-1, 3-1 in the OEC) to within a run at 4-3.
A bases-loaded walk by the Lasers (0-5, 0-4) gave IVC a 5-3 advantage before the bats came to life again in the bottom of the frame. David Morgan hit a solo home run to make it 5-4, Arbolida ripped a triple into the left-center field gap and was duplicated by Funke to even the score at 5. Pinch-hitter Jake Lappin came through with an RBI sacrifice fly, giving the Pirates their first lead of the game at 6-5.
OCC closer Justin Goldstein wiggled out of some defensive struggles by the Pirates and posted a scoreless eighth before Coast tacked on a much-needed insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. A clutch, RBI-single off the bat of Ricky Teel brought in pinch-runner Tyler Weaver to push the OCC advantage to 7-5.
Goldstein allowed a run to score in the top of the ninth, but the Lasers would not get any closer the rest of the way.
Arbolida and Funke anchored the OCC offense, going a combined 6-for-8, including a double and three triples, five runs scored and three RBI.
Game 2 of this week's series will be on Thursday (no fans allowed) at Wendell Pickens Field, beginning at 2 p.m.