CCBC Es­sex base­ball halts Dun­dalk win­ning streak

The Avenue News - - Sports And Recreation -

When CCBC Es­sex hosted CCBC Dun­dalk on Thurs­day, the Knights had the bet­ter record while the Li­ons were ar­guably the hot­ter team.

Dun­dalk was 9-10 to Es­sex’s 8-6, but the Li­ons en­tered the game with a six-game win­ning streak and seven wins in their last nine games.

Be­hind a com­plete game five-hit­ter from Rocco Ier­vasi, the Knights cooled off the Li­ons with a 3-1 win.

With the score tied 1-1 in the bot­tom of the sev­enth in­ning, Tom Harper led off with a dou­ble to cen­ter field and Nick Grimaldi (Perry Hall) drew a walk.

One out later, Kyle Gerdts sin­gled to left, scor­ing Harper with the even­tual win­ning run.

Es­sex added an in­sur­ance run in the bot­tom of the eighth in­ning as Ben Mur­ray sin­gled with one out, stole sec­ond, went to third on a sin­gle by Hunter Weaver and scored on a balk.

“Any time you see a team play­ing well, win­ning a bunch of games in a row, you know they’re com­ing in ready to lay,” Es­sex coach Michael Carter said. “Rocco did a very nice job, and helped save our bullpen.

“That was our sec­ond com­plete game this week. It’s a credit to our pitch­ing coach, Eric Ryan.” Ier­vasi struck out eight and walked two. He had a per­fect game through five in­nings, re­tir­ing the first 15 bat­ters be­fore Dun­dalk’s Darien Wil­liams led off the sixth in­ning with a dou­ble to left-cen­ter.

Ier­vasi got the next two bat­ters, but a two-out sin­gle to Tyler Foslett scored Wil­liams to tie the game at 1-1.

“There could have been a lit­tle shift in mo­men­tum, but we talk a lot about not let­ting the game get out of con­trol,” Carter said. “The other team will score runs.”

Another sin­gle gave Dun­dalk run­ners on first and sec­ond, but Ier­vasi got out of the in­ning with a flight to deep cen­ter.

The Li­ons had two more sin­gles in the sev­enth in­ning, but Ier­vasi struck out two bat­ters and got another fly­out to end the in­ning.

Es­sex had taken a 1-0 lead in the bot­tom of the first in­ning as Grimaldi led off with a dou­ble, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on An­thony DiA­mario’s sac­ri­fice fly.

Ier­vasi tired a bit in the ninth, walk­ing two bat­ters, but ended the game with a strike­out and two in­field grounders.

“We’re jelling to­gether. This is a fun group,” Carter said. “We can win games in dif­fer­ent ways, with pitch­ing, de­fense and hit­ting.

“I think the guys are start­ing to be­lieve in them­selves. When the play­offs start, we might be able to ex­tend our sea­son a lit­tle bit.”

Af­ter beat­ing Dun­dalk, Es­sex (12-7) ex­tended its own win­ning streak to five games by sweep­ing a dou­ble­header at Delaware County Com­mu­nity Col­lege on Fri­day, 19-0 and 11-5, then beat Fin­ger Lakes (NY) Com­mu­nity Col­lege in the first game of a dou­ble­header on Satur­day, 6-5, be­fore los­ing the sec­ond game 7-1.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

CCBC Es­sex short­stop Ben Mur­ray fields a ground ball dur­ing the 3-1 win over CCBC Dun­dalk on Thurs­day.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

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