Skipjacks stretch win streak to seven
Chesapeake, still unbeaten on Florida trip, improves to 11-1
COCOA BEACH, Fla. It’s contagious and Frank Szymanski isn’t looking for a cure.
The hitting bug has spread throughout the Chesapeake College baseball team, and the only people getting sick from it are the Skipjacks’ opponents. Chesapeake beat Morton (Ill.) College, 15-3, and Schenectady County Community College, 13-3, Monday night in games stopped after five innings due to the slaughter rule.
"Hitting is contagious, and winning is contagious," said Szymanski after his club pounded out 27 hits during Monday’s doubleheader to extend its winning streak to seven games.
The Skipjacks (11-1) have already scored 10 or more runs eight times this season, including six of their last seven games. Chesapeake, averaging almost 11.6 runs per game this season, had 16 hits against Morton and then put up five triples as part of an 11-hit attack against Schenectady.
"A lot of the balls were hitting the gaps and a lot of balls were going over outfielders’ heads," said Szymanski about the Schenectady contest. "The parks down here are big and a lot of balls were hit well. The ball was carrying well - it was a warm night."
Seven different Skipjacks have had multi-hit games in Florida, helping to explain the team’s 4-0 start on the nine-game trip. Will Delawter (3-for-3), Jimmy Carroll (2-for-3), Justin Armiger (2-for-4), and Mike Kelch (2-for-4) each had multiple hits against Morton as the Skipjacks scored 13 runs in the first two innings to erase a 2-0 deficit.
Delawter and Anthony Archie had RBI singles, and Carroll delivered a tie-breaking, two-run single during a four-run first inning as the Skipjacks took a 4-2 lead. Delawter and Kelch then had two hits each during a nine-run second inning in which Chesapeake collected 10 hits.
R.J. Morse won his first game of the season, throwing a six-hit complete game at Morton that included four strikeouts and no walks. He allowed just one run after the first inning.
"I thought R.J. did an excellent job," said Szymanski. "They had some seeing-eye singles at the beginning of the game. He threw well and he threw strikes."
Losing pitcher Melvin Santiago allowed 13 runs, 11 of them earned, and gave up 15 of the Skipjacks’ 16 hits.
The Schenectady game was much closer than the final score indicated. Delawter had a run-scoring double, Anthony Archie had an RBI single, and Robbie Miller brought home a run with a sacrifice fly during a three-run first, but Schenectady got two runs back in the second inning and tied the game with a run in the third.
Chesapeake regained the lead with two runs in the home half of the third. Archie reached on a one-out, two-base throwing error and went to third on a Kenny Pitkin wild pitch. Another wild pitch on a third strike that would have ended the inning allowed Archie to score the go-ahead run and Miller to reach base to extend the inning.
Miller then scored on Chris Cirillo’s triple for a 5-3 lead.
Chesapeake added a fourth-inning run as Armiger stole both third and home, then ended the game with a seven-run fifth inning. Brad Brainer (3-for-4, two triples, RBI), Archie (2-for-3, three RBI) and Miller (two RBI) each had triples during the fifth-inning explosion.
"They (Schenectady) have a nice ballclub," said Szymanski after his team’s second win in as many days against the New York school. "Their pitcher (Pitkin) did a good job keeping us off balance at the beginning. Then we started putting some hits together."
Joe Garrity improved to 2-0 with a three-hit complete game. He struck out four and walked none.
"Joe pitched great no walks, no earned runs," said Szymanski. "He just battled and threw well."
Szymanski said his team started hitting in the season-opening, 9-4 win over Delaware Tech/Georgetown and just hasn’t stopped.
"We came out of the gate playing pretty well at Del Tech and we’ve been able to come out every day focused and with the same effort, which is a great sign," said Szymanski.
The Skipjacks were scheduled to play Monroe (N.Y.) Community College in their first game Tuesday, setting up a rematch of last year’s Northeast District championship series. That series went the maximum three games, with Chesapeake winning to reach its first NJCAA World Series.
"It should be interesting," said Szymanski, whose club was then scheduled to play Nassau (N.Y.) Community College. "We know they (Monroe) have a quality club, so we’ll see what we’re made of."
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