Skipjacks knock off Essex, notch 30th win
Rollins gets pitching win, hits homer as team extends record for victories
WYE MILLS, May 5 - Chesapeake College´s baseball contest with Community College Baltimore County-Essex Thursday afternoon wasn´t a must-win game - but it was almost that important.
That´s why Chesapeake´s 10-6 win over the Knights was so satisfying to Skipjacks head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team had lost five of its previous six games.
"Today was a better game for us. We were happy to get back on the winning side," said Szymanski. "The last five or six games we´ve lost, the other team has beaten us with a big inning. Today we were able to survive their big inning."
Sophomore Clarke Rollins led the way, getting the pitching victory and going 2-for-4 with a home run as Chesapeake pounded out 11 hits against two Essex pitchers. Justin Armiger and Chad Wolfe also had two hits each as the Skipjacks (30-13 overall, 14-10 Maryland JuCo) reached the 30-win plateau for the first time in school history.
"This is the most wins in any program I´ve been associated with, either playing or coaching," said Szymanski, whose 2004 team set the previous school mark with 26 victories. "It´s pretty special for the college and all the people - the players, coaches, faculty, staff, administration - who have all contributed to what we do."
Essex turned an infield hit, stolen base, sacrifice bunt, and sac fly into a first-inning run, but the Skipjacks answered with a three-run second to take the lead for good.
Will Delawter walked, stole second, and scored on Mike Kelch´s run-scoring hit to start Chesapeake´s second-inning rally. Kelch stole second and came home on a triple by Wolfe, who then scored on Justin Armiger´s two-out single.
Rollins led off the home third with a home run, making it 4-1, and Anthony Archie followed with a double. Archie eventually scored on a Kelch sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.
Chesapeake scored a fourth-inning run with a two-out rally. Armiger walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a passed ball and scored on Ryan Bell´s RBI single for a 6-1 lead.
The Skipjacks broke the game open with a three-run fifth inning. Delawter doubled with one out and Jimmy Carroll was hit by a pitch with two outs. Wolfe kept the inning going with a run-scoring single, and Josh Creighton tripled in the final two runs to make it 9-1.
Essex got back in the game with a five-run sixth, thanks to a trio of Skipjack errors and Steve Strong´s run-scoring double, but reliever Ryan Albright shut out the Knights over the final three innings to get his first save of the season.
Rollins (5-1) yielded seven hits and three walks over six innings while striking out four. He allowed six runs, three of them earned.
"Clarke pitched pretty well for not having pitched in a while. He did a good job keeping them off balance," said Szymanski.
The Skipjacks host Garrett College Saturday in a noon doubleheader before completing their regular season Sunday by hosting Allegany College of Maryland in a 1 p.m. twin bill. Chesapeake begins the NJCAA Division II Region XX tournament next week, probably in Tuesday´s sub-regional action.
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