There was the feeling of playoff atmosphere Thursday and Friday between IVC and OCC’s baseball teams.
Seeding for the playoffs were on the line, the two schools had nearly identical win percentages, and these last games of the season between one another were key to locking up the second seed in the playoffs behind Santa Ana.
Both the playoff seeding and being a host for one, and possibly two, rounds in the playoffs were on the line.
While the teams split the series, the Pirates got the better half of their conference rivals. Following Thursday’s 11-8 home victory with a 12-6 road loss, the Lasers were knocked down to third place in the Orange Empire Conference and fourth seed in the playoffs.
In Thursday’s conference meeting, the Lasers struck early, building an early 7-0 lead. IVC scored two runs in the first and another in the third before blowing open the game in the fifth with another four runs.
It was then that Pirates fought back.
OCC retaliated with four runs in top of the sixth, followed by another two runs in the top of the seventh to cut the Lasers lead to 7-6.
IVC felt pressure and didn’t crack. The Lasers took back the momentum by adding another four runs in the bottom of the eighth, giving them some wiggle room, and the 11-6 advantage.
The Lasers allowed a pair of OCC runs before closing the game out on top.
Freshman Matt Reyes earned the win on the mound for IVC. He improved his record to 7-2 after 5.1 innings of work. Reyes allowed eight hits, four runs, two walks and recorded three strikeouts.
Robert Purpura relieved him, allowing two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings pitched, as closer Dean Persinger shut the door on the game.
Ryan Rosenhahn took the loss for OCC. He went five innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and two walks, as he recorded two strikeouts. Rosenhahn also hit two batters.
For the Lasers, Agortsas went 3 for 4 with three RBI.
The Pirates turned the tables Friday.
Despite jumping out to a 5-0 early lead on the road, IVC fell to OCC’s hot bats and a 12-6 loss.
OCC started out the second inning by scoring two runs on a home run hit by Ryan Dunn. The Pirates trailed, 6-4, in the middle of the fifth before having a five-run explosion in the bottom of that inning.
Going into the sixth inning, OCC had a 9-6 advantage that continued to build to the eventual victory.
OCC sophomore reliever Matt Hauser improved his record to 7-1, pitching five innings of relief. Hauser allowed just four hits and one run during his outing on the mound. Freshman Closer Brett Wallach shut the door on the game, he went two scoreless innings and didn’t give the Lasers a chance to come back.
Seven players had RBIs for the Pirates, who were led by freshman right fielder Ryan Sheeks. Sheeks went 4 for 5, scoring three runs for the Pirates.
KEEPING HIM ON HIS TOES