Warwick, R.I. – March 21, 2017: The CCRI Knights welcomed the Southern Maine Community College on Saturday for a doubleheader against the Seawolves. The Knights swept the doubleheader 8-6 and 2-1 improving their record to 20-3 on the season.
Game 1: Knights- 8 Seawolves- 6
The first game was a back and forth affair. The Knights struck first in the first inning, scoring two quick runs. Dylan Brooks (Lookeba, OK), who ranks 10th in the nation in batting average, drove in Joe Michael (Johnston, RI) on a sacrifice fly for the second run. The Knights added a third run in the second inning on a Joe Michael double, giving them a 3-0 lead. The Seawolves fought back in the third inning scoring four quick runs to put the Knights down 4-3. The lead did not last long. Sam Franco (Cranston, RI) came up in the bottom of the third, and hit a two run single to give the lead back to the Knights. Jasiah Hatch (East Providence, RI) followed this with a two-run double of his own, giving the Knights a 7-4 lead. The Knights added one more in the 4th inning. The Seawolves added two runs in the top of the 7th, but were unable to complete the comeback, giving the Knights the 8-6 victory.
Steve Noti (Warwick, RI) started the game on the mound for the Knights, going five innings. He gave up four runs, on five hits, with only two earned, striking out five on his way to earning the victory. Matt Kennedy (Johnston, RI) entered the game in relief of Noti. Kennedy struck out three batters over the last two innings of the game. He allowed four hits and two runs, but closed out the game for the Knights.
At the plate, the Knights were led by Joe Michael, who went 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Sam Franco followed this up with two hits, two RBIs, and one run. Edwin Pichardo (Hollywood, FL) chipped in with one hit, one walk, and two runs scored.
Game 2: Knights- 2 Seawolves- 1
The second game was the opposite of the first. It was a pitcher’s duel. The Knights scored one run early on a Matt Gutelius (South Kingstown, RI) ground ball out, which drove in Robert Paulino (Miramar, FL). The Knights were unable to get anything going until the last inning. The Seawolves were able to score one run in the top of the fifth inning on a ground ball error by the Knights. In the last inning, after stranding two runners in the sixth, the Knights knew they had to get a run to win. After a Robert Paulino single, Dylan Brooks grounded into a fielders’ choice, putting him on first base. Deiviz Lara (Santo Domingo, DR) came up to bat and hit a line drive into the gap between right field and center field. Brooks was able to score easily, giving the Knights the 2-1 win.
Dave Simmons (Warwick, RI) started the game on the mound for the Knights. Simmons is ranked third in ERA in the nation, and he kept up this trend on Saturday. Simmons pitched five innings, allowing one run which was unearned. He scattered three hits over the five innings, and struck out seven batters. Shane Kittila (Warwick, RI) entered in relief of Simmons, pitching two shutout innings. He allowed no hits and struck out three batters.
At the plate, the Knights managed nine hits. Deiviz Lara led the team with three hits, including his walk off double in the seventh inning. He had two doubles and a single. Robert Paulino had two singles, and scored one of the two Knights’ runs on the day. Brian Cipolla (Cranston, RI), Jasiah Hatch, Dylan Brooks, and Matt Gutelius each chipped in one hit for the Knights, with Brooks scoring the second run for the Knights.
Head Coach Ken Hopkins was very happy with his team’s performance. The Knights worked through multiple challenges in the doubleheader to come out with the sweep. The Knights will continue their season on Tuesday when they travel to Haverhill, MA to take on Northern Essex, before an important doubleheader against Avery Point on Saturday. Go Knights!
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The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 16,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.