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With 10 wins in last 11 games, baseball preps for Region XXI tournament

With 10 wins in last 11 games, baseball preps for Region XXI tournament

The Community College of Rhode Island baseball team is peaking at just the right time.

With 10 wins in their last 11 games, the Knights closed out the regular season this past weekend and earned the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 2023 Region XXI Tournament, where they will host No. 3 seed Massasoit Community College (20-10 overall, 16-5 Region XXI) this Thursday at 3:30 pm at Whitey Fell Field. The opening round is a double-elimination format with the last two teams standing advancing to the finals.

After winning only 10 games in 2022, CCRI more than doubled its win total this season and finished 24-15 overall and 18-3 in regional play. The Knights also won two of three against Massasoit during a critical three-game set April 4–6 to lock in the No. 2 seed, which dropped the Warriors to 16-5 in league play.

The rest of the field in the Region XXI Tournament includes No. 1 seed and defending champion Northern Essex and No. 4 seed Quinsigamond (12-9 overall, 12-9 Region XXI). Northern Essex finished 30-6 overall and 20-1 in regional play with its only loss coming to CCRI on April 13. The Knights also boast three wins against Quinsigamond, including two this past weekend to close out the regular season.

Given its recent success, the Knights are hopeful they can make it back to the regional finals for the third time since 2019; that year, the Knights won the Region XXI title and advanced to the NJCAA Division III College World Series in what would be their final full season before the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, the Knights were the No. 4 seed in the tournament and survived the opening-round double-elimination format with a sweep of Quinsigamond and Massasoit to advance to the championship against eventual regional champion Northern Essex.

This year’s group is led by talented freshmen Josh Lincourt (North Kingstown, RI), Noah Cook (Cranston, RI), and Sean Gallagher (Warwick, RI). Lincourt and Cook entered the weekend each with 31 runs drive while Gallagher boasted a .356 batting average with 28 RBI in his first 19 games.

The pitching staff boasts eight shutouts this year, which is fourth in the nation among NJCAA schools. Freshman Calvin Battersby (West Warwick, RI) tossed one of the eight shutouts this season on April 8, limiting Holyoke to one hit over seven innings with 10 strikeouts in a 4-0 win.

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