Irvine Valley's baseball team captured the season series against Orange Coast with an 8-6 victory in 11 innings on Saturday at Wendell Pickens Field at OCC.
It was the second straight win for Irvine Valley over Orange Coast this season with the finale of the three-game series happening on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Irvine Valley.
With just five games left in the regular season, Irvine Valley is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings with Saddleback and Riverside.
Irvine Valley has a record of 17-14 overall and 7-9 in conference. Orange Coast, which is the defending state champion, saw its record slip to 19-12 overall and 10-6 in conference. The Pirates trail Cypress by one game for first place in the conference standings.
Irvine Valley, Riverside and Saddleback are each two games behind Fullerton for fourth place.
IVC pushed across four runs in the top of the 11th and then held on to beat Orange Coast on Saturday. It was OCC's third loss in a row.
Orange Coast jumped ahead, 4-1, after three innings, but the Lasers took advantage of a costly OCC error and scored three runs (one earned) in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 4-4.
Freshman first baseman Lucas Tancas and sophomore third baseman Adam Vargas singled to open the frame and freshman shortstop Jordan Gillerman's sacrifice bunt was thrown away by starting pitcher Scott Serigstad, putting IVC to within a run at 4-3.
IVC freshman catcher Branden Williams followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Gillerman to tie the game up.
From there, it became a game of missed opportunities for both teams as neither could find that big hit to grab the lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Coast had runners on first and second with only one out, but IVC freshman reliever Cole Millerd (1-4) wiggled out of the jam and kept Coast off of the scoreboard. It was the first of four consecutive innings where the Pirates had multiple runners on base with less than two outs and failed to produce in the clutch.
In the eighth inning, OCC's Chris Prescott led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Nellis. Robert Longtree followed with a hit-by-pitch and Chaneng Varela singled to left to load the bases with the heart of the order coming up.
But Millerd beared down and coaxed a pair of harmless infield fly outs to end the threat.
From there, it was IVC's turn to leave multiple runners on base as the Lasers left a pair on in the top of the ninth and 10th innings, keeping the game tied.
Finally, in the top of the 11th inning, the Lasers grabbed the lead for good.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Tancas lined a fly ball into right-center, where Tommy Bell nearly pulled off an amazing catch, but the ball fell out of his glove and allowed both runners to score, putting IVC ahead, 6-4.
Vargas then hit what appeared to be a routine pop up over the pitcher's mound, but no Pirate player could corral the ball in a misplay in the sun, allowing Tancas to score from second to make it 7-4.
After Vargas stole second, Gillerman lined a double down the left-field line to score Vargas and make it 8-4.
The Pirates plated a pair of runs to make it 8-6 before Millerd retired his final batter with a line-out to left, ending the game.
Tancas led the IVC offense with a 3 for 5 performance with two runs and two RBI, while freshman left fielder Clint Jack added three hits, a run and an RBI.
Freshman designated hitter Trey Ryan was 2 for 2 with a walk and a run scored and Vargas and Gillerman also each had two hits for IVC.
The Lasers also had five stolen bases on the day with Gillerman swiping two and Ryan, Vargas and freshman second baseman Cory Medoza each having one stolen base.
Stephen Corona went 3 for 4 with a run scored for the Pirates, while Varela and Nick Grimes each had two hits one run and one RBI.
Millerd earned his first win on the mound at IVC. He pitched 6.2 innings in relief and gave up just two runs on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Freshman Michael Torres started on the mound and gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks and two strikeouts.
Irvine Valley hosts Orange Coast on Tuesday at 2 p.m.