By Evan Augeri
CROMWELL>> First-place RCP relied on its shutdown pitching in its Zone 7 doubleheader against Tri-County, winning the first game 3-0, and only allowing two first-inning runs in the second game en route to a 10-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Monnes Field.
Starter Jake Regula (5-0) went the distance in a dominant Game 1 performance. Regula struck out an impressive 16 Tri-County batters, allowing four hits and walking two. It was his third complete game of the season – in one of which he struck out 17.
“Jake was great,” said RCP coach Jay Hickey. “I think that both pitchers pitched really well. We just made a couple plays to back him up.”
Regula’s counterpart, Baylor LaPointe, took the loss but kept the game close. LaPointe held RCP to one run and let only three men reach base through the first four innings.
However, two errors by Tri-County extended the fifth inning, and RCP capitalized.
After a throwing error that allowed Tucker Lord to reach base on his sacrifice bunt attempt, Dave Sevigny laid down a bunt that moved Lord to second and Cory Baldwin to third. Kevin Radziewicz followed with a sacrifice fly to score Baldwin, and Alex Ramirez singled in Lord to give Regula and RCP two valuable insurance runs.
“It all came down to a couple of bunts that put us in scoring position,” said Hickey. “It’s always great heading toward the end of a game to have a three-run lead instead of one.”
“[Regula] was incredible,” said Tri-County coach Len Lampugnale. “But Baylor pitched right with him. He did all you could really ask from a starting pitcher.”
Tom Seaver started for RCP in the second game and struggled through two and a third innings. He allowed two runs, walked five, and hit a batter before he was pulled for the eventual winner, Lord (2-0).
Tri-County could only produce two hits against Lord the rest of the game. Lord walked none, hit one batter, and struck out five.
RCP tied the game in the second inning with a RBI single from Brendan Sullivan, then took the lead on the same play when Cole Ogorzalek scored after an error by Tri-County right fielder Travis Salois.
In the fourth inning with the bases full, right fielder Alex Ramirez slugged a two-run double that widened RCP’s lead to 6-2. In the following inning, Ramirez produced again with a bases loaded, two-run single.
“Alex had some great hits today,” said Hickey. “Overall it was a good team win.”
Ramirez (3 for 4, four RBIs) and leadoff batter Radziewicz (2 for 3 with a double, 2 RBIs, one run scored) were the biggest contributors to RCP’s 10 runs in Game 2.
“Today reinforces that when you play teams like [RCP], you really can’t make mistakes,” said Lampugnale. “If you give them a few openings like we did, they’re going to take advantage of them.”
RCP (14-0 in the zone, 15-1 overall) will look to remain undefeated in Zone 7 as it finishes the series with Tri-County (6-7 in the zone, 11-10 overall) Monday at 5:45 p.m. at West Road Field in Marlborough.