The Road To Fresno Continues at Orange Coast College: Sectionals Edition

Photo by Bill Hood
Photo by Bill Hood

TORRANCE, Calif. – For the second year in a row No.11 El Camino College heads to No.2 Orange Coast College for a spot in the final four at the CCCAA State Baseball Championships hosted by Fresno City College.  Game one will be played on Friday at 2:00 PM, while Game two will be played on Saturday at 1:00 PM. And if necessary Game three will take place on Sunday at noon

OCC SECTIONALS GAME SCHEDULE

Game 1, 5/18: El Camino at Orange Coast | 2:00 PM PT |

Game 2, 5/19: El Camino at Orange Coast | 1:00 PM PT |

Game 3, 5/20: El Camino at Orange Coast | 12:00 PM PT | *

*denotes if necessary game

Tickets for this weekend's Baseball SoCal Sectional Playoff games are: $12 General Admission; $8 for Seniors 60 and over, and children 12 and under.

The Pitchers (Probable Starters)

Friday

ECC RHP Kenneth Haus (10-1, 2.37 ERA) at Orange Coast, - LHP, Michael Giacone (5-2, 2.24 ERA)

Saturday

ECC RHP Daniel Alvarez (6-3, 4.45 ERA) at Orange Coast, - RHP, Cameron Jabara (7-0, 3.65 ERA)

Sunday (if necessary)

ECC RHP Spencer Long (4-5, 3.10 ERA) at Orange Coast, - RHP, Cole Van Den Helder (2-1, 5.63 ERA) or RHP McKinley LeFore (2-1, 8.66 ERA)

Catch All the Action

You can follow the El Camino College Baseball team on twitter @elcobaseball for live game updates or the live stats hosted by OCC

Game 1 (https://bit.ly/2IJNKlS) Game 2 (https://bit.ly/2KoCxEt), Game 3 (https://bit.ly/2rHJt7V)

RECAPPING THE CERRITOS CCCAA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUPER REGIONAL

The No.11 Warriors swept their division rival and the number one seeded Cerritos Falcons in two games to advance to the CCCAA Southern California Sectionals.  In Game One, Kenneth Haus held the Falcons to two runs while the Warriors jumped on SCC Pitcher of the Year, Gilbert Romero. Diego Alarcon had a big day at the plate with three hits and driving in four runs for the game.  Spencer Palmer also made his return from an injury and provided two more RBIs for the Warriors. In Game Two, The Warriors struck first in the first inning for an early 1-0 lead before the Falcons put a 4-spot in the next half inning to give them the lead.  The Warriors responded with their own big five-run inning in the fourth inning to retake the lead and swing momentum to the Warriors. They would add one more insurance run in the 8th inning to give them a 7-5 lead.  Max Pappas once again became the hero out of the bullpen by throwing 4.1 scoreless frames and preserving the 7-5 win for the Warriors.  

RECAPPING THE MOORPARK CCCAA SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL

The No.11 Warriors defeated the No.6 Moorpark Raiders on the road 2-1 to take the series.  Kenneth Haus was masterful in Game One and threw eight shutout before Jerry Granillo preserved the win by throwing out a runner at the plate to end the game.  The Warriors fell in Game Two, 6-1. Spencer Long took the loss after allowing 5 runs (4 runs) in 5.1 innings and the offense left twelve men on base off eight hits.  In Game 3 of Saturday's doubleheader, the Warriors jumped to an early 1-0 lead before allowing the Raiders to take a 5-1 lead after the third inning. Max Pappas came in and shoved the final 5.1 innings allowing zero runs, 3 hits, one walk, and 3 strikeouts.  The Warriors scored eight unanswered runs to take the series finale, 9-5. Long crushed a 3-run home run to tie the game at 5-5 in the 6th inning, Trevor McInerney hit the go-ahead pinch hit single in the eighth inning, before Matthew Beserra blew the game open with a 3-run blast in the 9th inning.

The Road Warriors

El Camino College will have to spend their post-season on the road after being handed the No. 11 in Southern California.   The Warriors are the lowest remaining seed in the Southern California section. However, the Warriors are 16-10 on the road and are 8-3 on the road since the start of April.  

Some Postseason Numbers at a Glance

Diego Alarcon is batting .364 (8-for-22), six RBIs, and two runs.  Jose Ruiz Jr has batted .300 (6-for-20) with five runs scored and one RBI.  Spencer Long has batted .307 (4-for-13) with one home run, three RBIs, and three runs scored. * Spencer Palmer has batted .444 (4-for-9) with three RBIs and one run scored.  The Warrior have outscored opponents 24 runs to 18 runs and have outhit opponents 47 hits to 39 hits.

*Palmer missed the Moorpark Regional due to injury

Mad Max on the Road

Max Pappas has been outstanding in relief for the Warriors this postseason.  In game three of the Moorpark Regional, Pappas came into the game with two runners on base in the bottom of the fourth inning and facing a 5-1 deficit, Pappas struck the next batter out to escape the inning and threw 5 more scoreless frames after that.  In the Cerritos Super Regional, Pappas was called into action in Game Two in the fifth inning with the Warriors holding onto a 6-5 lead and bases loaded for the Falcons. Pappas struck out the first batter he faced and threw four more scoreless innings, only allowing two more Falcons to reach a scoring position on the bases for the rest of the game.  In the postseason, Pappas has thrown 9.2 scoreless innings of relief, struck out six batters, and allowed five hits and three walks.

Kenneth "Mr. Postseason" Haus

After serving as a reliever for the majority of the 2017 Warriors, Kenneth Haus truly had his breakout moment in the postseason in the Southern California Sectionals vs Orange Coast College.  He entered in relief and threw 6.1 scoreless innings to help the Warriors advance to the state final four. He also tossed a quality start against Santa Rosa in the final game for the Warriors at the State Championships.  In the 2018 season, Haus has continued how he finished the previous season and has served as the staff ace. Haus was excellent in the first game of the 2018 postseason against Moorpark, throwing eight scoreless innings and striking out seven batters, allowing four hits and four walks.  In the Cerritos Super Regional, Haus was excellent again throwing eight innings, allowing two runs, four walks, four hits, and striking out six batters. In his postseason career, Haus has thrown 30 innings for a 1.67 ERA, with 23 strikeouts, 16 hits, and 15 walks.

We Movin' Diego, Diego

Diego Alarcon has been one of the hottest hitters for the Warriors in the postseason.  Hes picked up a knock in four of the five postseason games and is batting .364 (8-for-22) with six runs driven in and two runs scored.  Alarcon drove in four of the six Warrior runs in Game One vs Cerritos College in a 6-2 win.

Some Foot for Thought

After sitting out the Moorpark Regional Series to injury, Spencer Palmer came back to the Warriors for the Super Regionals vs Cerritos.  Palmer served as the designated hitter for the Warriors. Palmer batted .444 off four hits, drove in three runs, and scored one run. The Warriors have had to shift their infield and lineup around due to the injury to Spencer Palmer.  Palmer was injured in the final game of the season against Compton after taking a pitch off his foot. Matthew Beserra has shifted to 1B, Diego Alarcon to 3B, and Sean Whorley to 2B.

Shooting Your Shot

The freshman Trevor McInerney hasn't had many opportunities this year on the field for the Warriors but when they needed him most, he came through in the clutch.  McInerney got a two out pinch-hit opportunity and came through with a base hit to bring in the go-ahead run for the Warriors in Game 3 vs Moorpark in the CCCAA Regionals

Chicks Dig the Long Ball

After struggling in Game Two on the mound vs Moorpark in the CCCAA opening round, Spencer Long bounced back big in Game Three of the series.  Long hit a game-tying three run home run in the 6th inning vs the Raiders and swung the momentum of the game to the Warriors.  

Keys to the Game: Score More Runs than the Other Guys

The Warriors high-powered offense has certainly been the x-factor for them this season.  The Warriors are 26th in the state with a .296 batting average and eighth in the state with 485 hits.  The Warriors are eleventh in the state in doubles (92) and tied for eighth in the state in home runs (35).  The Warriors are ninth in the state in Runs Driven In (305) and ninth in the state in runs scored (335). The top five batters for the Warriors have batting averages better than .300.  Spencer Palmer is fourth in the state with a .427 batting average on 67 hits, 44 runs scored, 39 RBIs, and 8 home runs. Cody Wissler is second on the team with a .360 batting average on 64 hits, 28 runs scored, 38 RBIs, and two home runs.  Diego Alarcon is third on the team with a .320 batting average on 63 hits, 44 run scored, and 35 RBIs. Joseph Borges is fourth on the team with a .312 batting average on 43 hits, 28 runs scored, and 29 RBIs. Jose Ruiz Jr. is fifth on the team with a .306 batting average on 53 hits, 48 runs scored, 37 RBIs, and four home runs.  

On The Mound for the Warriors

The Starters

RHP Kenneth Haus is the staff ace for the Warriors.  Haus is tied for seventh in the state with 10 wins. Haus is 10-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 103 innings pitched with 97 strikeouts, and allowing 48 walks.

RHP Spencer Long is the starting shortstop on days he does not pitch.  Long is 4-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 52.1 innings pitched with 46 strikeouts and 19 walks allowed.

RHP Daniel Alvarez is 6-3 with a 4.45 ERA in 85 innings pitched.  Alvarez has struck out 63 batters and allowed 25 free passes on the year.  

The Bullpen Mafia

RHP Tommy Stropky has been excellent relief and has a 0.76 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched and 18 appearances.  Stropky has four saves and has struck out 16 batters and allowed just five walks. LHP Trevor Talpas has been excellent in his last four outings for the Warriors.  In that time, Talpas has tossed 9.0 innings allowing just one earned run, striking out 15 batters, allowed six walks, and allowed five hits. RHP Max Pappas has also been outstanding in relief for the Warriors.  Pappas has a 2.77 ERA in 39 innings pitched and 16 appearances. He has struck out 20 batters and allowed 17 walks. Pappas has been utilized in two high leverage situations in the postseason and has responded to the situation with 9.2 scoreless innings, striking out six batters, and allowing three walks and five hits.     

The Rundown: Warriors vs the Pirates

Orange Coast, 31-13, Orange Empire Conference Champions, CCCSIA State No. 4 ranking,

El Camino, 28-17, SCC South Division Runner Ups, CCCSIA State No. 23 ranking

State Baseball Titles: OCC, six (1956, 1960, 1980, 2009, 2014, 2015) El Camino, none

Overall Head-to-Head Meetings between Teams (2017-18): El Camino, 2-1

Most Recent Games: OCC 8-2 in last 10 games; El Camino 7-3 in last 10 games

1-Run Games: OCC 9-1; El Camino 3-5

Games Scoring 10 Runs or More: El Camino 15 (14-1), OCC 9 (9-0)

TEAM STATS

Team Batting Average

El Camino .296 (state #26; 485 hits), OCC .293 (state #32; 453 hits)

Playoff Batting Average

El Camino .278 (47 hits), OCC .213 (28 hits)

Team Runs Scored Per Game

El Camino 7.44 (335 runs/45 games), OCC 7.2 (317 runs/44 games)

Playoff Runs Scored Per Game

El Camino 4.8 (24 runs/5 games), OCC 5.5 (22 runs /4 games)

Team Runs Allowed Per Game

El Camino 4.57 (206 runs allowed/45 games), OCC 5.47 (241 runs allowed/44 games)

Playoff Runs Allowed Per Game

El Camino 3.6 (18 runs allowed/5 games), OCC 3.25 (13 runs allowed/4 games)

Team ERA

El Camino 3.54 (state #11), OCC 4.66 (state #32)

Playoff ERA

El Camino 3.00, OCC 3.00

Recapping Last Year's Sectionals vs OCC:

The Warriors won the series 2-1 to advance to the CCCAA State Championships after dropping the first game of the series.  The Warriors were leading 4-2 until the eighth inning when the Pirates mounted a three run rally against Taylor Rashi to take the lead and the first game 5-4.   In Game 2, it was a hit parade for both teams as there was a combined 18 runs and 30 hits. The Warriors came out on top of this game 10-8 to force the final deciding game.  In Game 3, the Pirates jumped to an early 5-0 lead before the Warriors turned to Kenneth Haus on the mound in the third inning. Haus provided the zeros on the board that gave the offense time and momentum to respond with and the Warriors rallied to score 9 unanswered runs and take the series finale, 9-5.   

A Bit about the Orange Coast Pirates

The Pirates were ranked as the No.4 team in the state heading into the playoffs and received the No.2 seed in the CCCAA Southern California Regional playoffs.  The Pirates are led by the Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year, John Altobelli. The Pirates swept the No.15 ranked Cuesta College in two games in the regionals section of the playoffs.  In Game One the Pirates were trailing 3-1 heading into the Bottom of the 9th when they walked-off in the 9th with three runs to take Game One, 4-3.  In Game 2, Cuesta struck first to take a 1-0 lead before the Pirates responded with five runs and held onto a 5-3 lead, to take Game Two and complete the sweep.   In the Super Regionals, the No.2 Pirates were paired with the No.9 seeded Riverside City College. OCC swept their Orange Empire Conference foe RCC in two games. It was a pitcher's duel in Game One, as Michael Giacone held the Tigers to one run and the Pirates won the game 2-1.   In Game 2, the Pirates held an 8-0 lead after five innings enroute to an 11-6 victory that was never in doubt.

The Pirates have a solid offense with good hitters in all parts of the starting lineup and seven regulars batting over .290.  Third Basemen Coby Kauhaahaa leads the team with a .331 batting average on 41 hits, 21 runs scored, and 16 RBIs. Shortstop Murphy Stehly is right behind Kauhaahaa with a .330 batting average on 37 hits, 23 runs scored, and 23 RBIs.  Outfielder Skylar Limonchi is third with a .314 batting average on 53 hits, 38 runs scored, and 17 RBIs. Designated Hitter Jacob Doty is fourth with a .313 batting average on 26 hits, 17 runs scored, 22 RBIs, and 4 HR's. First Basemen Dominic Donato is fifth with a .299 batting average on 46 hits, 30 runs scored, 29 RBIs and 2 HR's.  Catcher Chris Ceballos also sports a .299 batting average on 43 hits, 34 runs scored, 26 BIs, and 3 HR's. Outfielder Ramiro Velasco is seventh with a .292 batting average on 40 hits, 35 runs scored, 32 RBIs, and 5 HR's.

The Pirates have two strong starters in their rotation led by All-OCE 1st Team LHP Michael Giacone (5-2) who has a 2.24 ERA in 68.1 innings pitched and has struck out 81 batters and allowed 32 walks.  Their no.2 pitcher is fellow All-OCE 1st Team RHP Cameron Jabara (7-0) who has a 3.65 ERA in 61.2 innings pitched and has struck out 57 batters and allowed 26 walks. They have a strong relief trio in Doug Magee (4-1, 4 saves, 3.54 ERA), Josh Berman (2-2, 5 saves, 4.50 ERA) and Gus Culpo (3-0, 1 save, 3.20 ERA).