For the third consecutive season the RRBL Knights harvest the organizations only chance at a championship as the YBL team still fresh off getting swept by the Stoneham Sabers can only sit and watch. For the first time in the team’s history in the RRBL, they clinch the number one seed overall finishing the season with a 17 – 5 record. The RRBL Knights, looking for a chance to “three-peat” await the winner of the play-in game (Waltham Nationals vs the Savmor Spirits) this Wednesday to see who will be their first round opponent. The team is as talented as any of the previous 2 seasons but has some new faces. Said GM Eric Bellavia “The talent is definitely there, no question about that. We will find out what this team is made of when the stakes rise. The previous 2 teams had that intangible” the Knights boast the best pitching the the league with top starters Justin Wojcik, (7-0 0.48 ERA) Sean Perkins (6-1 1.70 ERA) lead the league as a duo with 13 wins. Old Friend Branden Eaton (Career 18-2 1.62) boasts a 6 – 0 record all time in the playoffs in the RRBL and is the anchor of an already strong pitching staff. “Pitching is always been our key to winning and this year will be no different. I think with the additions of Omar Ortiz, Jose Paulino and Johan Villalona this offense is as potent as it’s ever been” said Manager Tim Antonellis. Game one of the playoffs will be next week and the watch will be on for a three-peat.
RRBL game recaps:
Malden, MA – With the number one seed in the playoff assured, the Knights can bring a more relaxed attitude to the field for their remaining games. This doesn’t mean that they don’t play with the same intensity at the plate as shown by the first inning. The Knights batter around the order plating 8 runners sparked by consecutive doubles by Brian Maynard (2-4; 2R, 3B, 2B, 3RBI) and Eduardo Colmenares (1-4; 2R, 2B, RBI, K)
Justin Wojcik (W; 4IP, 2H, 4K, 2BB) went to the hill looking fr his 7th win of the year to tie for the league lead. The 8 run lead would be all that Wojcik needed. After a lead off double, there would only be one other hit Wojcik’s 4 innings pitched.
Not content with just 8 runs, the Knights went back to work in the 3rd inning scoring two more runs after back to back hits by Clemente Parra (3-4; 2B, RBI, R) and John Scull (1-3; 2R, K). Omar Ortiz (2-2; 2B, 3B, RBI) would enter the game as a defensive replacement and scorch a double to left field knocking in the second run.
Fresh of the Yawkey League playoff run, Branden Eaton (1IP; 1H, 2K, 1ER) came in to relieve Wojcik in the blow-out. After letting up a hit and a runner who reached on a error Eaton shut down the Brewers threat with consecutive strikeouts. The final two innings saw Dan Moran (1IP; H) and Omar Ortiz (1IP, BB, H) keep the Brewers scoreless giving up a combined 2 hits in the last two frames. With this 13-4 victory the Knights have one game remaining in the regular season against the Royals at World Series Park Sunday the 25th of August.
Saugus, MA – The chalk lines were perfect and undisturbed. With the Knights playing the first game of the afternoon, the field was untouched before the first pitch. Every game at the field today had playoff implications except for the Knights. Pat Donohoe (3IP; 4H, 3R, 2HBP) would make his second start of the year against the Newton Royals who were fighting for their division and the number two seed.
Donohoe found himself in a jam early as an error and a walk with two outs turned into a bases loaded situation. A hit batsman would score the first run and a follow-up double would score two more. Donohoe would escape the Jane but not before putting the Knights in a 0-3 hole.
The Knights answered back with two runs in the bottom frame. Jose Paulino (1-4; 2SB) singled on a slow roller to third followed by a two out singled by Eduardo Colmenares (2-3; 2SB, 3R, RBI) scoring Paulino. Aren Eaton (1-1; RBI, 2BB) followed it up with another single to score John Scull (1-3; BB, 2SB, RBI, K) who walked in the previous at-bat.
Donohoe settled down in the second and third inning hitting a batter but not letting up any hits. Trouble struck in the fourth inning with back to back hits to put runners in scoring position with no outs. The Knights would go to their bullpen and bring in Sean Perkins (W; 4IP, 2H, 2K, R) to stop the bleeding. Perkins induced a double play on a groundball to third and a fly out to get out of the inning. The Knights would only give up two hits the rest of the way.
With the score tied 4-4 going into the fifth inning, the Knights were looking at the bottom of their lineup. Perkins (2-2; R) who was also hitting came to the plate and with one out started the barrage of hits with a hard line drive single to left. Geoff Harris (1-4; 2B, R) added a moon-shot double to right before Johan Villalona (1-4; R, 2RBI) delivered the coup de grace single to right scoring two. With the Knight’s regular season wrapped up, they now wait to see who they play in the first round of the playoffs.