Pride Wins Fourth Straight OCCAC Title
Heading into the weekend, the Pride knew that all it needed was one win over Lakeland to claim its fourth straight conference championship. With four games to play at home, nobody wanted to wait for game two. Sinclair got on the board first with a two-out three-run homerun off the bat of Drew Williams. The Lakers battled back and put up four runs of their own in the third inning off starter Jon Thacker. Trailing by one run in the fourth, Matt Sullivan led things off with a single to left. After a Paul Wilson sacrifice bunt, Jon Lowe walked to move the tying run to second. Blake Hall laced a hit and run to left center tying the game at four. Joe Ford walked, and Austin Downing singled up the middle, scoring two runs. Those runs would be enough for Jon Thacker, who battled through five plus innings of work. Matt Kruzel entered the game in the sixth with two out and ended a Laker threat. In the seventh, trailing by four runs, the Lakers led the inning off with a single off Kruzel. A fly ball out to right set up the next play, a 4-6-3 double to end the game. The celebration was on as the Sinclair players dogpiled near the mound.
Final Score: #11 Sinclair 8, Lakeland 4
WP: Jon Thacker (6-0) 5.2IP 9H 4ER 4K’s
SV: Matt Kruzel (3) 1.1IP H
Offensive Leaders: Joe Ford 2-3 RS 2B, Austin Downing 1-2 SAC 3 RBIs, Drew Williams 1-3 RS HR 3RBIs, Matt Sullivan 2-3 RS, Jon Lowe 1-2 2RS BB, Blake Hall 1-2 SAC RBI
After the dogpile, Sinclair didn’t have much to celebrate in game two. Laker starter John Gora held the Tartan batters down and only allowed two hits in a complete game shutout performance. Lakeland put up a run in the second and four in the third. That was all the scoring needed.
Final Score: Lakeland 5, #11 Sinclair 0
LP: Ian Creager (5-2) 4IP 9H 5ER
Offensive Leaders: Dan Lawrence 1-3, Darwin Argumedo 1-3 2B
Sinclair began a new streak Saturday, after their thirteen-game winning streak was snapped in game two on Friday. The Pride offense scored seven of its eight runs in the third and fourth innings, and Corey Johnson continued his dominance over Laker hitters. Johnson has only allowed two hits in fourteen innings of work against Lakeland this season.
Final Score: #11 Sinclair 8 Lakeland 1
WP: Corey Johnson (4-3) 7IP 2H ER 4K's
Offensive Leaders: Joe Ford 2-4 RS RBI, Austin Downing 1-3 2RS BB, Kyle Vander Ark 2-3 3RBIs, Matt Sullivan 1-3 RBI, Darwin Argumedo 1-2 2B BB RBI, Paul Wilson 2-3 3RS BB 2SB 2B
The Pride never led the series finale in the first seven innings of play. The first run for Sinclair came in the third inning, a single to right off the bat of Dan Lawrence. Trailing 3-1, the Tartan offense had numerous opportunities with runners in scoring position but failed to get a big hit in the first five innings of the game. With two on and two out in the sixth, Jon Lowe laced a double in the left centerfield gap that scored two, tying the game at three. Sinclair's bullpen was stellar once again as Ryan Carter threw three scoreless innings while striking out six, and Matt Kruzel also held Lakeland scoreless in his three innings of work. In the bottom of the eighth, Mike Maddle singled up the middle with one out. Matt Sullivan then hit a groundball to the shortstop that became a fielder’s choice as he beat the throw to first base. With two outs and Darwin Argumedo up, things got crazy. A wild pitch allowed Sullivan to move to second, and as the ball went to the backstop, he surprised the catcher by attempting to take third as well. Sliding into third, the ball skipped past the third basemen and into the outfield. While on the ground, the third basemen stayed on top of Sullivan and did not allow him to get up and run home. The home plate umpire made the call and Sullivan was awarded home plate, ending the game.
Final Score: #11 Sinclair 4, Lakeland 3 (8 Innings)
WP: Matt Kruzel 3IP H 3K's
Offensive Leaders: Jon Lowe 2-3 RS 2B 2 RBI's, Mike Maddle 2-2 RS BB.
Sinclair will take on Vincennes University on Wednesday, April 25, in the last home game of the season. Sinclair will enter the game with a 36-12 overall record and a 17-3 record in the conference.
Sinclair Community College
Head Baseball Coach