After exploding for 10 runs in the first game of their doubleheader against the Bloodhounds of John Jay College on Friday, the CCNY baseball team went ice cold at the plate, scoring just one run on three hits in a crucial 2-1 loss to John Jay in game two, forcing the Beavers to look for help outside for their first playoff berth since 2010.
“Destiny was in our hands and we let it go,” said CCNY head coach Steve Macias after the game. “Now we have to hope and see if we can get some help.”
CCNY (11-12-1) got off to a hot start in game one, giving Beavers sophomore right-hander Jose Aquino an early 2-0 lead. Aquino gave up a run on two hits, cutting the Beaver lead to 2-1 after the first frame. After the shaky start, Aquino settled down, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters before surrendering a double in the bottom of the fifth inning to John Jay outfielder Esteban Soler with two outs.
Aquino earned the win in game one, pitching a solid six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out nine.
“Jose’s been a bulldog all year, he’s done a really good job,” Macias said about his game one starter.
Sophomore reliever Sacha Urbach took over in the seventh inning and got Nick Gioia to gorund out into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game after walking the second and third batter of the inning.
Senior Gabriel Pena’s solo home run (his third of the season) to lead off the top of the third inning put the Beavers up 3-1 and his RBI double in the fourth pushed the Beavers to a 6-1 lead. He extended his hit streak to 10 games after Friday’s doubleheader.
-“First game, we came out really well,” Pena said. “We we’re on a good vibe. Second game, we coasted and we didn’t follow through like we should have.”
In game two, however, the Beavers look nothing close to the team that rocked John Jay for 10 runs on 15 hits in the first game. Like Pena said, they “coasted.”
Bloodhounds left-hander Matthew Quirindongo shut down the Beaver lineup, holding them to just one hit through the first four innings before Pena hit a leadoff double in the top of the sixth. Pena would eventually score on an error by catcher Nestor Amarante who dropped the throw from center field, allowing Pena to score from third to cut the John Jay lead to 2-1.
Quirindongo would sit the Beavers down in order to end the game in the seventh, earning the complete game win, allowing just the one run on three hits with a strikeout.
“Very disappointing to know that all of that hard work and we only come out here with a split when we know we have the potential for so much more,” Pena mentioned after the game.
“Going into the second game we knew what we had to do,” Beavers catcher Mike Smith said. “We just came in dead.”
Going into the home stretch of the season the Beavers have matched their win total from the last two years combined. The potential playoff berth would be a gigantic step forward for a team that was nowhere near playoff conversation the last three seasons.
“We’re much improved than we’ve been, but sometimes we’ve had lapses in play and that costs us ball games, but that’s part of having new guys,” Macias mentioned. “Hopefully we can keep improving and do well.”
“It’s very gratifying to see the way the program has grown,” Smith said. Smith was part of the teams the last two seasons that won just six and five games respectively.
“I’ve seen it come from the bottom to the top, and being in my last year, to see us have as much success as we had, it’s a good feeling. Unfortuntately, I think that we could be doing much better.”