The CCRI Knights baseball team had members of its squad recognized by Region XXI for their performances in the 2019 season. Student-athletes Alex Martinez (Cranston), Nick D’Ambra (Coventry), Anthony Ramos (Cranston) and CJ Woods received both All-Region team awards as well as Region XXI Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. Joey Barter (Coventry), Zack Odsen (Providence), Zack D’Andrea (Warwick), Ben Sears (East Providence), Ray Aponte (East Providence), Jacob Frost (Cranston) and David Meech (Douglas, MA) received All-Region Awards. Head Coach Kevin Rix received Region XXI DIII Coach of the Year in only his second year at the helm of the Knights.
Sophomore co-captain Nick D’Ambra had a fantastic second year as part of the Knights baseball team and earned a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region Second Team as well as Region XXI Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Leftfielder D’Ambra played in 35 games for the Knights, amassing a .398 batting average which was the 11th best in Region XXI and added a team second best 32 RBI during the season. Nick ranked 37th in the nation (NJCAA Division III) with a .678 slugging percentage with his 12 doubles, six triples and three homeruns. Fast around the bases, D’Ambra stole 21 basses, fourth most in the region. In route to his Gold Glove award, Nick fielded a perfect 1.000, not committing a single error all year out in left field.
Fellow outfielder, freshman Anthony Ramos also earned Region XXI Rawlings Gold Glove Award and added a spot Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. Ramos led the Knights with a .416 batting average that was the eighth best in the region. An impressive .549 on base percentage was the 14th best in the nation and 31 stolen bases led the region and was the 6th most in the country. He added a team leading 63 runs scored which was the 14th best in the country. Anthony committed just one error all year and had a fielding percentage of .983 out in center field.
Freshman catcher Alex Martinez performed well all season for CCI and took both the Region XXI Rawlings Gold Glove Award and a spot Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. Martinez batted .400, second best for the Knights and had a .500 on base percentage during the 2019 campaign. Martinez batted in 25 runs and scored 23 in the 32 games played. Behind the plate, Alex was solid, fielding a .995 fielding percentage with just one error all season.
Sophomore pitcher CJ Woods was the final Knights to receive the Region XXI Rawlings Gold Glove Award and also took a spot Region XXI DIII All-Region Second Team. CJ made eight appearances for the Knights in 2019, winning six, 30th best in the nation and tied third best in the region. He threw 47.1 innings, second most on the team and averaged 6.08 strikeouts per nine innings. Woods fielded at .867 and received recognition for the Region Gold Glove Award.
Freshman pitcher Ben Sears had a fantastic year for the Knights and took a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. Sears was dominant, winning eight of his 11 appearances which was 13th best in the nation and top of the region. Ben threw 67.2 innings, the most for CCRI and struck out 99 batters on the year, sixth best in the country as well as best in the region and averaged 13.17 strikeouts per nine innings which was the eighth best in the nation. Sears ended the year with a 2.93 ERA, 30th best in the country.
Sophomore co-captain Zack Odsen had a great year at second base and earned a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. Odsen played in 38 games for CCRI, batting .303 and knocked in a team leading 33 RBI, fifth best in the region. Zack registered a .400 on base percentage and came around for 26 runs scored.
Joining the infield unit was sophomore Joey Barter, who took the first basemen spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. Barter batted .303 and had a .485 slugging percentage as well as showing great power with a team leading four homeruns, fifth best in the region. In the 32 games played, Joey knocked in 24 RBI and scored 21 runs and was a key part of CCRI’s offense.
Sophomore Zack D’Andrea had a solid second year with the Knights and his performances earned him a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region First Team. D’Andrea made 10 appearances for CCRI, winning seven which was second best in the region and 18th best in the nation. Zack threw 45.1 innings, striking out 56 total batters and averaged 11.12 strikeouts per nine innings. Zack ended the year with a 4.57 ERA, 83rd best in the nation.
Sophomore third baseman Ray Aponte had a solid season for the Knights infield and received a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region Second Team for his efforts. Playing in 35 games, Aponte batted an impressive .344 and had a slugging percentage of .552. Ray hit 11 doubles and three homeruns while adding 30 RBI and 25 runs scored. A solid .472 on base percentage meant that Aponte often gave his teammates chance to knock runs in.
Sophomore Jake Frost was the third CCRI outfielder to receive recognition form the region as he took home a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region Second Team. Frost had a sloid year in right field and at the plate for the Knights, batting .338 with a .509 on base percentage. In 29 games played, Jake scored 26 runs and brought in 15 RBI adding plenty of offense at the tail end of the order.
Freshman David Meech had a breakout season with CCRI, slotting into the DH position and earning a spot on the Region XXI DIII All-Region Second Team. Meech played 33 games and held a .349 batting average and added a .495 on base percentage and .518 slugging percentage. David put his on base percentage which was the 78th best in the nation to good use, scoring 30 runs as well as knocking in 22 RBI while at the plate.
Head Coach Kevin Rix also received recognition for his work during the 2019 season, taking home Region XXI DIII Coach of the Year. The Knights finished the 2019 campaign 27-12, winners of the Region XXI and District F Championships and made the program’s fifth NJCAA College World Series appearance. At the College World Series, CCRI came up against great competition in the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 8 nationally ranked teams and did well, advancing to the third round before being knocked out by Brookhaven College (TX). A Fantastic year for any coach, made even more impressive as it is only Coach Rix’s second year at the helm. The progress is evident between last year and this and it is exciting to see where the program will go from here.