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Baseball

’Jacks sweep BCCC after Catonsville split
Chesapeake finishes weekend with 3-1 conference record

Nick Cicio was masterful Saturday afternoon against Chesapeake College’s baseball team, but the Skipjacks spent the rest of the weekend making other pitchers miserable.

Cicio, backed by Mike Flacco’s three-run homer, threw a two-hit shutout as Community College Baltimore County-Catonsville notched a 3-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Skipjacks. Chesapeake, however, rebounded with a 10-8 victory in Saturday’s nightcap before scoring 23 runs Sunday while sweeping winless Baltimore City Community College.

Chesapeake (5-1 overall, 3-1 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) blew out to an 8-0 lead and then held off a frantic Cardinal comeback to split the Catonsville doubleheader. The Skipjacks then capped a successful weekend by routing winless BCCC, 11-2 and 12-2, in a doubleheader moved to Salisbury University due to weather-related field issues at Chesapeake.

Catonsville won Saturday’s opener as Flacco homered off an 0-2 pitch from reliever Ben Newport. That made a hard-luck loser out of Jake Garvey, who spaced seven hits and threw five scoreless innings before leaving with two on and no outs in the sixth.

Skipjacks head coach Frank Szymanski said he was pleased with the way his squad responded to its first loss of the season.

"We came out on fire in the second Catonsville game," said Szymanski. "That first game was a little rough – no timely hitting and one mistake on the mound. We came out hungry in the second game. I was proud of how we swung the bats."

Chris Bodnar (3-for-4, three RBI) and J.J. Corriveau (3-for-3, three runs) led the way in the Catonsville nightcap. Bodnar hit a three-run homer during a six-run third inning that gave Chesapeake its 8-0 lead, while Corriveau reached base in all four of his plate appearances.

Mike Liddell was 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored a run for the Skipjacks, who finished with 12 hits off three Catonsville pitchers.

The Cardinals knocked out Chesapeake starter Chris Bell with a six-run fourth inning keyed by Brian Robison’s two-run double. Bell, who allowed one hit through the first 3 1/3 innings, gave up six runs, five earned, on five hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Reliever Norman Cushing got the Skipjacks out of the fourth-inning jam, striking out Dustin Douglas with the bases loaded and two outs. Cushing allowed only T.J. Murphy’s two-run, sixth-inning homer – which pulled Catonsville within 9-8 – while yielding five hits over 1 2/3 innings. He then turned the ball over to Ryan Staton, who earned the save with 1 2/3 hitless innings.

"Norm Cushing and Ryan Staton held them (the Cardinals) down," said Szymanski.

Sunday’s doubleheader against BCCC (0-12, 0-4) was much less dramatic as the Skipjacks pounded out 10 hits in each end of the doubleheader.

Four Skipjacks – Corriveau (two runs, two RBI), Liddell (run, three RBI, two-run homer), Jesse Savage (home run, two runs, RBI), and Devin Gardner (three runs, RBI) – each had two hits in the opener. Jordan Heller was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and four walks in four innings. Robert Karwacki and Joey Zonetti then combined for three shutout innings.

Derek Richards went 2-for-4 with a single, double, and three RBI in the nightcap. Richards’ grounder to short with no outs in the sixth brought home Kyle Hayes to invoke the 10-run mercy rule.

Gardner and Tyler Brunk combined to three-hit BCCC in the nightcap. Gardner allowed two hits, struck out six and walked only one in 4 1/3 innings. Brunk allowed one hit, to the first batter he faced, and then retired the final five Panther hitters.

"We came up with a lot of timely hitting Sunday," Gardner, a Kent Island High School graduate, said of the run support he received in the nightcap. "We just want to keep working hard and improving."

"This was an important weekend for us," said Szymanski. "We have to get used to playing back-to-back doubleheaders, and I was pleased with how we came out today against BCCC."

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