What looked like it would be an easy win for the Irvine Valley baseball team got a lot closer in the final innings, but the Lasers still held on for a 10-8 victory over Orange Coast on Saturday at home in the finale of a three-game series.
Irvine Valley, ranked No. 11 in the state, handed top-ranked Orange Coast its first loss in Orange Empire Conference play.
IVC improved its record to 16-6-1 overall and 2-4 in conference, while Orange Coast went to 18-4-1 overall and 5-1 in conference.
The Lasers got a strong start on the mound from sophomore right-hander Keenan Cisneros. He helped set the tone early for IVC, keeping Orange Coast off balance.
Cisneros went six innings and gave up one run on two hits and four walks with four strikeouts. He improved his record to 3-1 on the year.
Irvine Valley's offense gave Cisneros an early lead.
The Lasers went ahead, 1-0, in the bottom of the second inning on a hard-hit, RBI single by freshman third baseman Artie Varela.
IVC added a run in the third inning on a RBI single by freshman left fielder Kyle Dobson.
After Orange Coast made it a 2-1 game in the top of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Justin Thomas, the Lasers broke open the game with four runs in the bottom of the frame.
Irvine Valley took advantage of an error to score two runs and a wild pitch to plate another.
And then freshman first baseman Pu'ukani De Sa gave Irvine Valley a 6-1 lead with a RBI single to center field.
Irvine Valley added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. All four runs came with two outs.
Freshman designated hitter Joey Lapolla scored on a passed ball and then De Sa came home on a wild pitch.
Sophomore second baseman David Rojas capped IVC's scoring with a two-run single to left field.
The Lasers led, 10-1, and things looked over.
But Orange Coast never gave in. The Pirates scored five runs in the top of the eighth inning to make it a 10-6 game. Joey Fregosi and Jacob Gentry each had two-run doubles for OCC.
And then in the top of the ninth inning, Orange Coast added two more runs and ended up putting the tying run on second base.
With two outs, Clifford Pradd hit a bloop single into center field that brought in two runs and made the score 10-8.
Adam Serrano and Jared Shatz then each singled to load the bases.
But Irvine Valley sophomore closer Noah Bradford was able to get Gentry to ground out to second base to end the game.
Dobson went 4 for 4 with one RBI to lead IVC's offense. De Sa was 3 for 4 with one RBI, freshman right fielder Dane Nakatsuka went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Lapolla was 1 for 3 with three runs.
The Lasers finished with 14 hits.
Orange Coast had 12 hits. Serrano and Schatz each had two base hits for the Pirates.
Irvine Valley is back in action next Tuesday, hosting Golden West at 2 p.m. in conference game.