Focus on Sports
Skipjacks blank Essex for fifth straight win

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

ESSEX – The Skipjacks started their big week with a big win.

Chesapeake College´s baseball team overwhelmed Community College Baltimore County-Essex, 16-0 in seven innings, Tuesday afternoon as three pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout. The Skipjacks (22-6 overall, 10-4 Maryland JuCo) can now turn their attention to three straight games with huge state and regional implications – Thursday´s 3 p.m. home game against CCBC-Dundalk (18-13, 14-4) and Saturday´s noon doubleheader at Cecil Community College (26-7, 15-3).

"We talked after the game about how this was a good way to start a very big week," said Chesapeake head coach Frank Szymanski, whose team has won five straight games.

Winning pitcher Justin Armiger went five innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out three. Armiger stranded five baserunners in the first two innings before settling in.

"I was trying to be too picky," said Armiger, who threw 95 pitches. "Coach (Szymanski) came out to the mound and told me I needed to be more aggressive and go after hitters. I just had to make that adjustment."

"Justin was around the plate, but wasn´t over the plate," Szymanski said of Armiger´s early struggles. "Once he made that adjustment, better things started happening."

Chris Conner allowed a hit and struck out a batter in the sixth inning, and Justin Martin struck out the side while pitching the seventh to complete the shutout.

Chesapeake´s pitchers received plenty of offensive support from the hitters as the Skipjacks scored every inning and finished with 16 hits. Mike Garrett, Robbie Miller and Brad Brainer each finished with three hits and two RBI, and Will Delawter drove in four runs while getting two hits.

Chesapeake scored the only run it needed in the top of the first inning as Mike Kelch (2-for-4) singled and came around to score on three wild pitches. The Skipjacks added a second-inning run as Justin Sousa walked, stole second and scored on a Garrett single.

Chesapeake broke the game open with a four-run third as Miller singled in two runs and both Sousa and Garrett delivered run-scoring doubles.

The Skipjacks tacked on a run in the fourth and scored three more in the fifth to take a 10-0 lead. Delawter delivered a three-run triple as part of a four-run sixth that included a run-scoring single by Brainer, and the Skipjacks capped the scoring with a two-run seventh.

Chesapeake has scored 33 runs in the last two games.

"We´re just trying to put the bat on the ball instead of trying to do too much at the plate," said Brainer, who indicated the team had been pressing during a recent stretch where runs were hard to produce.

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