Knights split opening games

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The CCRI Knights baseball team took to the field against the No. 4 tournament seeded and No. 2 nationally ranked Herkimer College Generals on Sunday afternoon. Both teams needed a win to stay alive and the back and forth game eventually went the Knights way as they won 6-5. The win improves CCRI’s season record to 27-11 overall, 15-1 in Region XXI play and 14-1 in League play.

A hot day with temperatures creeping into the 90s was made hotter by a must win game for the CCRI Knights. Herkimer also needed a win to stay alive and struck first with a run in the bottom of the second. CCRI quickly answered scoring twice in the top of the third. Back to back triples by freshman Anthony Ramos (Cranston) and sophomore co-captain Nick D’Ambra (Coventry) respectively combined the first run. Sophomore co-captain Zack Odsen (Providence) then batted in D’Ambra with an RBI single to give the Knights a 2-1 lead.

The Generals scored solo runs in both the third and fourth innings to take back a 3-2 lead. This was answered when CCRI scored three runs in the top half of the fifth inning. The first run was brought in by freshman David Meech (Douglas, MA) with an RBI single. Sophomore Joey Barter (Coventry) followed this with a matching RBI single to give CCRI a 4-3 lead. The final run of the fifth inning came off of a pass ball that scored D’Ambra. To take it CCRI five, Herkimer three.

Herkimer drew within one run, scoring a solitary run in the sixth. The Knights grabbed an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Joey Barter struck again, this time a double down the left field line that scored Alex Martinez (Cranston) to make the game 6-4.

Herkimer was able to steal one run to draw within striking distance and with two outs, winning run at second, CCRI closer Peter Cohen (North Attleboro, MA) sealed the game off, forcing a grounder to first base ending the game with CCRI on top 6-5.

The Knights had four separate pitchers throw on Sunday with sophomore Cristian Woods (East Providence) getting the start and went five innings in which he allowed five hits and four runs of which only two were earned. Woods added in five strikeouts in route to his sixth win of the season. Sophomore Zack D’Andrea (Warwick) came in for three innings of relief in which he allowed just one hit and no runs with three strikeouts to maintain the CCRI lead. Freshman Riley Beard (North Kingstown) threw one third of an inning, conceding one hit and one run. Peter Cohen came in for the final two thirds of an inning, walking one batter but holding the bats silent, no hits or runs to earn his second save of the season and CCRI their first victory of the 2019 NJCAA DIII College World Series win.

At the plate, CCRI combined for 10 hits. Leading that charge was D’Ambra as he went 2-for-3, a triple and a single with two runs scored and one RBI. Ramos was 2-for-4 on the day with a triple and a single, two runs scored and one stolen base. Barter had a team leading two RBI including the game deciding run as he batted 2-for-5, a double and a single. Meech was 1-for-4, a single with one RBI and a run scored. Alex Martinez went 1-for-4, a single and a run scored. Zack Odsen continued batting in runs as he contributed a 1-5 performance, a single and one RBI. Sophomore Ray Aponte (East Providence) rounded off the offense as he went 1-4 with a single.

The CCRI Knights baseball team played on Monday at 1:00 p.m. against the loser of the game between the No. 3 seeded and No. 1 nationally ranked Cumberland County College Dukes and the No. 2 seeded and No. 8 nationally ranked Brookhaven College Bears. The results were not available at press time.

The CCRI Knights baseball team took to the field for their first game of the 2019 NJCAA DIII College World Series against the No. 1 tournament seeded and third nationally ranked Rowan College of Gloucester County Roadrunners. Rowan showed their class, outplaying the Knights and winning the game 6-1. The loss dropped CCRI’s season record to 26-11 overall, 15-1 in Region XXI play and 14-1 in League play.

The Roadrunners come into the College World Series as the No. 1 seed but most importantly with a plethora of momentum. They emerged winners of the Region XIX Tournament where they upended No. 3 nationally ranked Northampton 11-1 and No. 1 nationally ranked Cumberland County 21-1 in route to the title.

They carried this energy onto the diamond, scoring the opening run in the second followed by three runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead. CCRI would score in the top of the fifth when sophomore co-captain Odsen hit an RBI single through the left side to bring home freshman Ramos. The Roadrunners would score two additional runs in the bottom of the eighth and would go onto win the game 6-1.

Freshman pitcher Ben Sears (East Providence) started on the mound for the Knights. Sears pitched well but found himself up against a prolific hitting team that pounced on every misplaced pitch. Ben threw seven and a third innings, allowing nine hits and six earned runs while striking out five batters. Freshman Beard came in for relief, pitching two thirds of an inning, striking out one batter and not conceding a hit. 

CCRI’s offense struggled, only combining for four hits and one run. Sophomore Aponte hit well, going 2-for-3 on the day with two singles and reaching a third time after drawing a walk. Odsen went 1-for-4, a single with an RBI. Ramos also went 1-for-4 with a single and a run scored.

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