The CCRI Knights baseball team traveled to Groton, Conn. to compete in the Region XXI baseball championship over the weekend versus top seed and No. 3 nationally ranked (NJCAA D-II baseball) UConn-Avery Point (UCAP). The Knights lost a hard-fought three game series 2-1. They lost the first game 4-3, came back to win the second game 4-0, but lost the third and deciding game 3-2. With the 1-2 weekend, the Knights’ season ended with a 28-13 record.
Matt Laferriere (Coventry) got the start on Friday and took the loss, as he left the game with a 3-2 lead but two inherited runners scored, providing the difference.
The Knights tied the game 2-2 on a wild pitch from reliever Edgard Santiago and took a 3-2 lead on a double off Santiago from Dylan Gracia (Middletown) in the sixth inning. But the Pointers fought back in the bottom of the sixth inning. With a runner on first base, Alex Lefevre blooped a single over first baseman Jonathan Vazquez (Bridgeport, Conn.) and then UCAP loaded the bases and Nick DeLotto scored on a wild pitch. That was followed by a hit batsman and a walk by Jake Tillman (Johnston) to give UCAP the 4-3 lead. That ended up being the game’s final score.
On the mound for the Knights in game two was their ace Conor Gleason, who threw a gem of a game. Gleason threw a complete game four-hitter, walking six and striking out an impressive 10 batters in the process. Gleason, who attended nearby Wheeler High School, returned the field where he played his high school games with a large cheering section comprised of family, friends and former coaches. Gleason stymied the Pointers and kept them off the scoreboard, giving the Knights their first victory of the year versus UCAP.
“It was probably the best pitching performance against us all year, UCAP head coach Roger Bidwell said. “Congratulations to him.”
Gleason was in control the entire game, as he did not give up his first hit until the fifth inning – a scratch single – which put runners on first and second. But Conor dug deep to strikeout the next two batters and get a pop-up for the final out. Gleason also worked out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings, stranding five base runners in all to earn the shutout victory.
In the third a deciding game of the region championship Keegan Dellacona (Hyannis, Mass.) got the start and pitched very well, but was forced to take a tough loss. Dellacona was in a pitchers duel with Zach Albin, a pro pitching prospect for the Pointers. Both teams played tremendous defense in support of their pitchers with UCAP gutting out the victory.
UCAP scored ots first run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning and then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning after an RBI single from Matt Harrison and a wild pitch plated two runs. The Knight had opportunities that were sniffed out by the Pointers spectacular defensive plays. In the sixth inning, UCAP right fielder Matt Martinez made back-to-back plays, one going back to rob third baseman Tyler Santaniello (Lincoln) and the other a diving catch to rob a hit from first baseman Jonathan Vazquez. Also, in the eighth inning Santaniello was robbed of a big extra-base attempt when he was thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.
CCRI athletes honored
On Tuesday April 30 the CCRI Department of Athletics held the 2013 CCRI Athletics Awards Ceremony at the Vincent A. Cullen Fieldhouse located on the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick. Many of CCRI’s top athletes were honored and the fall and winter sports received their All-Region and All-American certificates along with each team’s MVP’s and many other Departmental honors were handed out on Tuesday.
The 2012-13 Team MVP’s were: Cross Country: Bobby Allen (Cranston); Women’s Soccer: Caitlin McGarry (Warwick); Men’s Soccer: Manny Alves (Pawtucket); Volleyball Annie Ragan (North Kingstown); Women’s Basketball: Jahira Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Men’s Basketball: Bryan Yarce (Cranston) and Desmond Williams (Torrington, Conn.); Track: Bobby Allen and Cassandra Gustafson (Pawtucket); Tennis: Ross Bouchard (South Kingstown); Golf: Patrick O’Connor (North Kingstown); Softball: Katie Paddock (Providence) and Kate Fowler (Warwick); and Baseball Conor Gleason (North Stonington, Conn.).
Other departmental awards included: the Izzy Siperstein Award to Isaac Medeiros (Johnston) from men’s basketball; the Charlie Wilkes award went to Andrew Crowley (Canton, Conn.) third baseman on baseball team; the Mary O’Neill Award went to Jess McCaughey (Warwick); the Joseph Andre Jr. Award went to Betti Worth (Manchester, England) from women’s soccer; the Ann Cullen Award (top student-athlete) went to Bobby Allen of Cross Country and Track. In addition, the Ralph Catuogno Award (top GPA’s) went to Chris Munoz-Cortez form men’s soccer (Talcahuano, Chile) with a perfect 4.0 and Annie Ragan from volleyball with a 3.43.