’Jacks pick up six wins, national ranking in Florida
Chesapeake put together 6-4 record against strong competition
ORLANDO, Fla. The Skipjacks left Wye Mills to play 10 games in the Florida sun, and came back with their first-ever national ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division I.
Chesapeake College (13-5) was ranked No. 18 in the poll released during the team’s Florida trip. It is the team’s first national ranking since they last appeared in the Division II poll in 2006, the Skipjacks’ final season in Division II.
Skipjacks head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team went 6-4 in Florida, said a national ranking will mean more if his team can hold onto or improve its current national position down the road.
"It’s very nice a real honor but the only poll that really matters is the last one," said Szymanski.
Genesee Community College 2, Chesapeake College 1 Genesee Community College 5, Chesapeake College 2
ORLANDO, Fla. The Skipjacks came out on the wrong end of two well-pitched games Wednesday to complete their spring trip.
Chesapeake starter Norm Cushing pitched a complete-game two-hitter with four walks and two hit batsmen in the opener, but Genesee’s Shayne Herold held Chesapeake to just one unearned run while striking out seven and allowing four hits to earn the win.
In Game 2, pitchers on both sides constantly pitched themselves out of trouble. Genesee’s Chris Page gave up 11 hits, two walks and hit three batters, but allowed only a pair of sixth-inning runs. Chesapeake pitchers Joey Zonetti and Ben Newport combined to give up nine hits, but kept the Skipjacks within 3-2 until Genesee scored a pair of seventh-inning insurance runs.
Ryan Sharp, who had a run-scoring double in Game 1, went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI for Genesee in the nightcap. Billy Felo (3-for-4) and Adam Chambers had run-scoring hits in Chesapeake’s two-run sixth inning, which pulled the Skipjacks within 3-2, but Jesse Savage (2-for-4) was thrown out at the plate earlier in the inning trying to score on a Derek Richards hit.
Dan Ladd went 2-for-4 in Game 2 for the Skipjacks.
Chesapeake College 5, Sussex (N.J.) CC 3
Chesapeake College 3, Sussex (N.J.) CC 2
ORLANDO, Fla. Two sophomores who pitched sparingly as freshmen Gary Blackledge and Jake Garvey each picked up their second victory of the season with impressive relief efforts last Tuesday.
Blackledge, relieving Game 1 starter Tyler Brunk, allowed two hits in two innings before handing the ball over to closer Ryan Staton, who struck out five in two innings for his fifth save. Garvey, meanwhile, blanked the Skylanders on two hits over the last three innings in relief of starter Chip Dunn (four innings, five strikeouts, one hit, two walks) in the nightcap to set the stage for Chris Bell’s game-winning hit with two outs in the seventh.
"Gary came in at a time when we really needed him to throw strikes and get us to our closer," said Szymanski. "And Jake kept us in Game 2 until our bats could win it."
The defense, meanwhile, played back-to-back errorless games.
"Excellent defense is going to keep you in the game," said Szymanski. "I was proud of the way we played defense and came up with big hits in the clutch."
In Game 1, Sussex put together a three-run rally in the top of the second inning to take an early lead. The Skipjacks, however, responded with a five-run explosion in the bottom half of the second as their first six batters reached safely against losing pitcher Elmer Engle.
Billy Felo drove in the first run with a triple before RBI singles by Jesse Savage (2-for-3, double) and Kyle Gannon tied the game. Adam Chambers’ run-scoring double proved to be the game-winning hit, and Devin Gardner’s RBI groundout added an insurance run.
Sussex outhit Chesapeake, 9-6, in the opener, but the Skipjacks had a 5-3 advantage in hits in a nightcap dominated by pitching and defense. The Skylanders took a 2-0, first-inning lead before Dunn and Garvey blanked Sussex over the final six frames.
Chesapeake scored a third-inning run as Mathieu Vallieres was hit by losing pitcher Isaias Rodriquez, stole second and third, and came home on a Savage fielder’s choice. Derek Richards hit a solo homer leading off the fourth to tie the game, 2-2, setting the stage for Chesapeake’s game-winning rally in the seventh.
Savage singled with one out in the seventh, stole second and scored on Bell’s hit to give Chesapeake its sixth win in its first eight games in Florida.
Iowa Lakes 6, Chesapeake College 5
ORLANDO, Fla. Devin Gardner’s no-out, pinch-hit RBI triple in the top of the sixth created a 5-5 tie and completed the Skipjacks’ comeback from a 5-2 deficit, but Iowa Lakes pushed across the winning run in the bottom half of the inning to gain a split of last Monday’s doubleheader.
Chesapeake reliever Ben Newport issued a walk to Edgardo Balentine leading off the home sixth. Balentine then went to second on a sacrifice and scored on Zakk Bandermer’s two-out single.
Bandermer’s hit made a hard-luck loser out of Newport, who struck out six and allowed only two hits over 4 1/3 innings in relief of starter John Shobe. Shobe yielded five runs on five hits with a walk in 1 1/3 innings.
Andrew Markey played a key role in rallying the Skipjacks from 4-1 and 5-2 deficits, going 3-for-4 with a run-scoring double and a solo home run. While Gardner’s sixth-inning triple brought in the tying run, he was stranded at third as Iowa Lakes reliever and winner Fabien Cruz struck out the next two hitters and got out of the inning with a groundout.
Markey, one of Chesapeake College’s premier hitters last season, shook off a slow start in dramatic style Monday afternoon. The sophomore infielder went 5-for-7 with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI in the doubleheader.
"Andrew’s back to where he left off last year," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski. "It took him a while to get started, but now he’s seeing the ball well and hitting with authority."
Chesapeake College 3, Iowa Lakes CC 2
ORLANDO, Fla. Andrew Markey went 2-for-3 and drove in all three runs as the Skipjacks won Monday’s opener against Iowa Lakes.
Markey’s fourth-inning double off the left-field fence scored Mike Liddell to give the Skipjacks a 1-0 lead. Another Markey double off the left-field fence this one in the home sixth after Iowa Lakes scored twice in the top half of the inning scored Liddell and Chris Bell with the tying and winning runs.
Daniel Miller (2-0) earned the victory with a complete-game four-hitter that included six strikeouts and just one walk. Michael Vega’s two-run homer in the top of the sixth off Miller gave Iowa Lakes a brief, 2-1 lead, but both runs were unearned due to a two-out error.
"Daniel Miller pitched a gem," said Szymanski.
Losing pitcher Matt Leffler allowed six hits over six innings with five strikeouts and a hit batsman.
Chesapeake College 8, Oakton CC 6
ORLANDO, Fla. - Mathieu Vallieres was 3-for-3 and scored twice, and Mike Turner was 2-for-4 Sunday with two runs and two RBI as the Skipjacks completed a doubleheader sweep of Oakton Community College.
Rob Karwacki, the second of three Skipjack pitchers, was the winner. Ryan Staton pitched a perfect seventh for his fourth save. Mike Liddell had a hit, scored a run and drove in two.
Chesapeake College 6, Oakton CC 2
ORLANDO, Fla. Andrew Markey (run, RBI) went 3-4 while Mike Liddell (two runs), Cory Kirby (two runs), J.J. Corriveau and Mathieu Vallieres each had two hits Sunday to lead the Skipjacks past Oakton in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Devin Gardner was the winning pitcher, allowing five hits over five innings, while Ryan Staton allowed one hit after taking over a 3-2 lead in the sixth and earned a save.
Delgado CC 7, Chesapeake College 6
ORLANDO, Fla. Pinch-runner Chris Beaver was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on Mike Liddell’s one-out, seventh-inning single Saturday as Delgado managed a doubleheader split.
Chesapeake had its chances to win the game, thanks in part to clutch performances by J.J. Corriveau (3-for-4, three runs) and Michael Turner. Turner’s three-run, fourth-inning homer gave the Skipjacks a 4-2 lead, and his RBI sacrifice fly sparked a two-run fourth that broke a 4-4 tie.
Delgado, however, put together a three-run rally in the bottom of the fourth, aided by some key Skipjack miscues, for a 7-6 lead that would stand up the rest of the way.
"We just made too many mistakes at crucial times," said Szymanski after the Skipjacks committed five errors.
Cody Ferguson, the second of three Chesapeake pitchers, took the loss.
Chesapeake College 3, Delgado CC 2
ORLANDO, Fla. Devin Gardner hit a walk-off, two-run homer Saturday to cap a three-run seventh inning in the first game of the doubleheader.
The Skipjacks were blanked for the first six innings, but Chris Bodnar doubled with one out in the seventh and pinch runner Beaver scored on a Delgado error to pull Chesapeake within 2-1. Gardner then homered to left to give Chesapeake the victory.
Starter Jake Garvey allowed four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five innings. Ben Newport pitched to two batters in the sixth, yielding a walk and a hit, before Ryan Staton came on to shut down Delgado.
Staton escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth. Delgado then put runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the seventh, but Staton struck out the next two hitters and induced an inning-ending flyout.
Staton gave up a hit and a walk in his two innings with two strikeouts.
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