Commodores Explode For Seven Runs in the Final Inning to Defeat Westmoreland, 13-12; Rally For Six in the Seventh Inning of Game Two to Complete the Sweep. 15-14.
by Ken Hoffman
The Lorain County Community College baseball sluggers erased a 10-6 deficit going into the seventh and final inning of the first game by scoring seven runs on seven hits and a critical passed ball to earn a 13-12 victory in a slug fest that featured 36 total hits — 18 by each team — at Westmoreland County (PA) Community College on Saturday, April 14.
The Commodores strung together five consecutive hits, including RBI singles from freshman third baseman Richard Vandervort, freshman outfielder Justin Ciccone, freshman outfielder Noah Henderson, and a two-run double by sophomore catcher Tyler LaGuardia that put LCCC in front, 11-10. Henderson and Barrios scored the final two runs on a passed ball with two outs.
Henderson relieved starter and winning pitcher Dalton Welty to get the final out of the game — and the save — after WCCC had scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and had the potential tying run on second base.
Freshman shortstop Jess Barrios (pictured) led an 18-hit attack with four singles and three RBI’s in five trips to the plate. LaGuardia went 3-for 4, including his double and two RBI’s. Sophomore outfielder Nate Colbert tied the game at 1-1 with with a home run — his fourth in the last two games — leading off the top of the second inning.
In the second game, WCCC erupted for six runs in the first inning to take a 6-1 lead. But LCCC used a pair of six-run innings of its own to secure the win. The Commodores scored a half-dozen runs in the third inning to tie the game at 9-9. Then, trailing 14-9 in the seventh inning, rallied for six more to take a 15-14 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Henderson pitched the final inning and struck out the last two batters with two runners on base, earning his second save of the afternoon.
Barrios again led the hitting, going 5-for-5, including three doubles and four RBI’s (9-for-10 with seven RBI’s in the doubleheader). Benacuse turned in a 3-for-5 performance with a triple, a double and a single with two RBI’s. Ciccone accounted for three RBI’s with a two-run single and a ground out. Sophomore DH Kevin Simon collected three singles in three at-bats — plus a walk — with an RBI. The Commodores outhit Westmoreland, 18-13, in the second game and amassed 36 hits during the twin-bill.
The Commodores — who compiled 36 hits in 75 plate appearances on Saturday and have scored 42 runs in their last three games — have raised their team batting average to .341 which ranks tied for 10th in the nation (NJCAA, D-III).
LCCC’s won-lost record is now 9-10. The Commodores go to CCAC-Boyce on Sunday for a noon doubleheader.