Baseball team can't get untracked in loss at Orange Coast

Baseball team can't get untracked in loss at Orange Coast

Irvine Valley's baseball team had its chances to knock off the top-ranked team in the state, Orange Coast, on Tuesday at home before falling in 10 innings.

That wasn't the case on Thursday at OCC.

No. 11 Irvine Valley was held to four hits and made three errors in a 6-0 loss to the Pirates.

Irvine Valley, which hosts the finale of the three-game series on Saturday at 12 p.m., saw its record fall to 15-6-1 overall and 1-4 in conference. Orange Coast improved its mark to 18-3-1 overall and 5-0 in conference.

OCC starter Cole Van Den Helder kept the bats of the Lasers quiet for seven innings, allowing just three hits with two walks and striking out eight batters.

Reliever Vince Inman pitched two solid innings of relief to give the finish off the game for the Pirates.

The duo of Van Den Helder and Inman outpitched IVC sophomore ace Justin Dunham, who took his first loss of the season (4-1) after allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts over eight innings.

Skylar Limonchi (2 for 3, one run, two RBI) came through with the first big hit for the Pirates when he lined a two-run single to left in the bottom of the second inning, scoring John Thomas and David Morgan to give Coast an early 2-0 lead.

IVC's best scoring threat came in the top of the third when a walk and a single to right put runners on the corners with only one out. But Van Den Helder buckled down and struck out Irvine Valley sophomore center fielder Ben McConnell and freshman shortstop Robert Haw to ground out to end the threat.

Back-to-back singles by Ryan O'Halloran and Limonchi put runners on first and third with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth for Orange Coast. From there, a run-scoring error and a run-scoring double play grounder doubled OCC's advantage to 4-0.

Finally, in the bottom of the eighth, Pirates capped off their scoring when Davis Delorefice (2 for 4, two RBI) blooped in a two-run triple that scored Tyler Lasch and Morgan to make it 6-0.

Haw, freshman right fielder Dane Nakatsuka, freshman designated hitter Gilberto Gonzalez and sophomore catcher Ryan Santa Cruz each had a hit for IVC.

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