The CCRI Knights snuck past the Quinsigamond Wyverns 5-4 in the second game of a NJCAA baseball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.
“We squeaked it through,” CCRI head coach Kevin Rix said. “We got down four and fought right back and scored five. That’s a sign of good things.”
CCRI’s Alejandro Martinez belted the go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the third inning and the defense held on from there.
Knights starting pitcher Ben Sears, a freshman, earned the win, pitching four innings while striking out seven.
Quinsigamond went up 4-0 in the top of the third, which started when Sears walked in a run with the bases loaded.
Then, with the bases still jammed, Simon Fonseca hit a single and knocked in two more runs while extending the Wyverns edge to 3-0. Then, with two down, Paul Wydom hit a routine ground ball at Adrian Duran, the shortstop, who bobbled it, and that allowed Zach Mary to score from third, making it 4-0.
CCRI’s Anthony Ramos led off the bottom of the inning with a double to left-center. Then, with runners at the corners, Zack Odsen ripped an RBI single to right and scored Ramos while pulling the Knights within 4-1.
Next, with runners at second and third, Joey Barter blasted an RBI single by the third baseman and pulled the Knights within 4-2.
Then, Odsen scored during a passed ball, which inched the Knights within 4-3. Finally, after Ray Aponte walked to load the bases, Martinez bashed a two-run single to left field and put the Knights on top 5-4.
After that, Sears pitched a scoreless fourth inning and then, Peter Cohen came on in relief and held off the Wyverns for the final three frames.
CCRI now holds a regular season record of 5-8 and they play next on Tuesday at 3:30 pm against Northern Essex.
The Knights dropped the first game of the doubleheader by a final score of 10-6. CCRI held a 6-2 advantage after five innings in that game, but then, they surrendered eight runs over the sixth and seventh innings. Between those two innings there were two walks, 1 HBP, two errors, and five hits.
“We’ve got to tighten up our defense,” Rix said. “We’re not getting the balls that we should be getting to and we’re bobbling balls that we shouldn’t be bobbling.”
“We’re just given two extra opportunities in a few of the innings,” Rix continued. “And, it’s not all the time, but it seems like our errors are compounded in the same inning. We may have two or three in a game lately, and they all seem to happen in the same inning.”
It’s still early though, and Rix is confident his team will round into form as the season progresses.
“We hung in there and that’s what we’re going to do,” Rix said. “That’s the make of our team. We’ve never quit and when we’ve been down, we’ve always come back. We’ve just given up a few late in the games, early in the season. So, we’re going to tighten it up. We’ll be fine. But we’re tough, we never quit so I think we’ll be right there at the end.”