The 2012 CCRI baseball team had an historic season with an excellent 33-13 record, winning the Region XXI and Eastern District Championships to earn a trip to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla. Though the Knights did not win a game, they were one of the top 10 teams in the country finishing the season ranked No. 7 by the NJCAA in Division II. The Knights also received more good news, with sophomore shortstop Marc Dorsi (West Haven, Conn.) earning First Team All-American honors.
Dorsi was named the top offensive player in Region XXI, batting .431 during the regular season with 50 hits, including nine doubles, two triples and a home run while scoring 36 runs with 29 RBI. Dorsi started the season at second base before being moved over to shortstop, which solidified the Knights’ defense.
“He is the straw that stirs the drink…as he goes we go,” CCRI head coach Ken Hopkins said.
Dorsi led the Knights to their first World Series appearance since 1996.
Other postseason award winners for the Knights included Conor Gleason (North Stonington, Conn.), who earned All-Region XXI honors as the region’s top pitcher with an impressive 8-1 record during the regular season with a 1.31 ERA. He struck out 65 batters in 55 innings pitched. Gleason served as the Knights’ No. 1 starter and seemed to deliver every time he took the mound in his freshman year.
Also earning All-Region XXI honors was sophomore pitcher Brendan Cabral (Scituate), who had a 6-2 record during the regular season with a 3.83 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched. Cabral started as the Knights’ No. 3 pitcher but stepped up to No. 2 after an injury and become an important part to the Knights’ success.
Another All-Region XXI performer was freshman centerfielder and leadoff batter Dylan Gracia (Middletown). Gracia batted .392 during the regular season with 38 hits, including 14 doubles and a triple with 34 runs scored and 16 RBI. He also led all Knights starters with a .491 on base percentage by adding 13 walks, and he was hit by six pitches. His ability to set the table for the middle of the Knights’ order was another key to their success.
The final player to earn a postseason award for the Knights was freshman Right fielder Mike Sherburne (North Kingstown) who earned a Region XXI gold glove honor for his stellar play in right field. While playing excellent defense, he also batted .406 in the regular season and led the Knights with seven home runs for the entire season, including two versus UConn-Avery Point in the Region XXI Championship – the most memorable of which was his game-winning bottom of the eighth inning grand slam that sent the Knights to the World Series. Sherburne did not make an error all season, and threw out multiple runners at first base from right field with his aggressive routes to the ball and strong throwing arm.
The Knights will look for another trip to the Division II World Series next year, as they will have four returning All-Region XXI players.