FRESNO, Calif. – El Camino College took an early lead and got a big day offensively from Jerry Granillo but a big inning from Orange Coast proved to be the difference in a 7-5 loss in game one of the CCCAA State Championship Final.
Granillo was excellent at the plate, reaching all five times he went to bat. He went 3-for-3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch while scoring three of the team's five runs in the loss. Spencer Palmer, Matt Beserra and Ty Conrad all had two hits in the game to lead the Warriors offensively.
In a game that went back-and-forth in the early innings, the Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the third on an RBI single from Spencer Long to drive in Granillo from second and put the Warriors up.
But the Pirates put together a big fourth inning, scoring five runs off Warriors' starter Max Pappas to take a 7-2 lead.
Reliever Garrett Spicuzza came in and stopped the bleeding and would go on to finish out the game for ECC on the bump, scattering five hits and allowing one walk with one strikeout in five and 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Warriors had chances, putting runners on base in every inning after falling behind but could not complete the comeback. All 11 runners they left on base came from the fourth inning on, including leaving the bases loaded in back-to-back innings.
The team's last stand came in the ninth as they got the potential tying run in on second base but, with runners on second and third, Pirates closer Davis Delorefice struck out Taishi Nakawake to end the game and force a winner-take-all game for the CCCAA State Championship.
The teams will take the field at 2:50 p.m. to decide who will take the 2019 state title.