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Knights fall to No. 3 ranked UCAP in Region Championship
The CCRI Knights baseball team traveled to Groton, CT to compete in the Region XXI baseball championship over the weekend versus top seed and No.3 nationally ranked (NJCAA DII baseball) UConn-Avery Point (UCAP). The Knights lost a hard-fought three game series 2-1. They lost the first game 4-3, came back to win the second game 4-0 but lost the third and deciding game 3-2. With the 2-1 weekend the Knights season ends with a 28-13 record.
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On the mound for the Knights Matt Laferriere (Coventry, RI) got the start on Friday and took the tough luck lost and though he left the game with a 3-2 lead but runners were on base when he left and two of them eventually scored giving UCAP the 4-3 victory.
The Knights tied the game 2-2 on a wild pitch from reliever Edgard Santiago and took a 3-2 lead on a double off Santiago from Dylan Gracia (Middletown, RI) in the sixth inning. But the Pointers fought back in the bottom of the sixth inning with a runner on first base Alex Lefevre blooped a single over first baseman Jonathan Vazquez (Bridgeport, CT) and then UCAP loaded the bases and Nick DeLotto scored on a wild pitch followed by a hit batsman and a walk by Jake Tillman (Johnston, RI) to give UCAP the 4-3 lead. That ended up being the game’s final score.
The Knights will look to bounce back in game two with their ace Conor Gleason (North Stonington, CT) the mound Saturday at 12noon.
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On the mound for the Knights in game two was their ace Conor Gleason who threw a gem of a game. Gleason threw a complete game four-hitter, walking six and striking out an impressive 10 batters in the process. Conor, who attended nearby Wheeler High School, returned the field where he played his high school games with a large cheering section comprised of family, friends and former coaches. Gleason stymied the Pointers and kept them off the scoreboard giving the Knights their first victory of the year versus UCAP. According to opposing Coach Roger Bidwell “It was probably the best pitching performance against us all year. Congratulations to him.” Gleason also commented of his performance and coming back home "This is like home to me….I have a lot of comfort on the mound. I've got the hometown fans coming out to support me, which is great. That raises your level of play that much more. You want to do well for them and make them proud."
Gleason was in control the entire games he did not give up his first hit until the fifth inning, a scratch single, which put runners on first and second, but Conor dug deep to strikeout the next two batters and get a pop-up for the final out. Gleason also worked out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings stranding five base runners in all to earn the shutout victory.
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In the third a deciding game of the Region championship Keegan Dellacona (Hyannis, MA) got the start and pitched very well but again to the hard luck loss for the Knights. Dellacona was in a pitchers’ duel with Zach Albin, a pro pitching prospect for the Pointers. Both teams played tremendous defense in support of their pitchers with UCAP gutting out the 3-2 victory.
UCAP scored their first run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning and then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning after an RBI single from Matt Harrison and a wild pitch plated two runs. The Knight had opportunities that were sniffed out buy the Pointers spectacular defensive plays. In the sixth inning UCAP right fielder Matt Martinez made back to back plays one going back to rob third baseman Tyler Santaniello (Lincoln, RI) and then making a diving catch to rob a hit from first baseman Jonathan Vazquez of a hit. Also, in the eighth inning Santaniello was robbed of a big extra base attempt when he was thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double with only a perfect throw by Kevin Hall being the difference between a double and a single and put out.
The two losses end the Knights season with a 28-13 record. On a positive note the Knights did have five players earn All-Region XXI honors. They were catcher Ryan Wordell (Little Compton, RI), left fielder Joe Yankee (Lincoln, RI), second baseman and Captain Nick Coro (North Providence, RI), first baseman Jonathan Vazquez and pitcher Conor Gleason. An expanded release will go out once the final stats are updated.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 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.