TC head coach Will Ramos said the difference between the win and the 5-3 loss in the first game had to do with timely hitting.
“That’s kind of what we talked about in between games with the guys when I met with them—in the first game, we scored early and then we never scored again,” Ramos said. “The few times we got runners in scoring position, we didn’t drive them home. What we talked about is we’ve got to have some opportunities to hit with people in scoring position. We’ve got to bring them in and that was the difference between the first and the second game. In the second game, that’s what we did. We got guys in scoring position and we brought them in.”
Jeff Pool got the start in the second game and went five strong innings for the team. Prior to the sixth inning, he had a shutout before Emmanuel College got one run on the board and Ramos went to Diego Hernandez in the bullpen.
“Jeff Pool has been doing great, a great job today,” Ramos said. “He kept us in the game, he made his pitches. After the fifth inning, in the sixth inning, he lost his concentration a little bit. He got hit very well, but overall he did excellent. He’s been doing great for us. We depend on him to get in there and do what he did today—give us a chance to win.”
The team aided Pool’s efforts by providing him with a 10-run cushion.
TC (17-12) did most of the damage in the bottom of the third inning. Chase Benfield hit a chopper to third base, but the third baseman leaped up to make the grab and couldn’t come up with a clean catch, allowing Jesus Rosario to score. Nerio Barreto hit a grounder to first base, but the first baseman couldn’t make a clean catch, allowing Kody Ethridge to score. Kameron Mizzell hit a single to center-right field to bring Benfield around to score for a 3-0 TC lead. With Luis Benitez at the plate, another run came in on a wild pitch. Benitez hit a bloop single to left field to bring another run home to make it 5-0. Rosario hit a double down the third base line that reached left field scoring three runs to push the lead to 8-0. Chase Benfield hit a single to center field to score another run before Emmanuel finally got out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, TC tacked on one more run when Rosario hit a deep fly ball to center field and Kameron Mizzell tagged up to score from third base, giving TC a 10-0 lead.
Alex Delgado scored Emmanuel’s first run of the game in the fifth inning when Desmond Harp hit a single to center field to bring Delgado around to score.
In the sixth inning, Pool allowed two hits before being lifted for Hernandez. Hernandez was charged with a balk to bring Michael Granda in to score. Emmanuel’s Chandler Moore hit a grounder to Rosario at second base, but he an error allowed two runs to score. Delgado hit a single to left field to score Emmanuel’s fifth and what would ultimately be their final run of the game. Hernandez retired the side in the seventh inning without any further damage.
Pool received the win for his five innings of work, allowing three earned runs and striking out two batters.
For Emmanuel, Steven Welcher was charged with the loss, while starting pitcher Williams Mizrahi received a no decision.
TC was plagued in both games by fielding errors, combining for five total errors throughout the doubleheader. However, the three errors in the first contest proved to be costly. Two of Emmanuel’s five runs were unearned, which proved to be the difference in the game.
“Tomorrow we’ve got to go back and practice, because we play Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Ramos said. “We’re still getting hurt by errors in the infield and that’s just sad to say. We work a lot on defense, but we came up with one win today. In the first game, we made some mistakes and I think that hurt the game. If we play a clean game, we’ll win a lot of games and that’s what I’m trying to get the guys to believe in.”
TC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the first game.
Benfield hit an RBI double to score Dion Duncan. Benfield came around to score on a Barreto RBI single.
Emmanuel evened up the score in the bottom half of the inning when Ahmad Williams hit a single to right field to score two runs.
The score remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when Emmanuel brought two runs across the plate.
Emmanuel added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Josh Buczek scored on a wild pitch.
TC rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning. Barreto brought Duncan home with a single into the gap between first and second base. With two runners on, JoJo Benet got Mizzell to strike out to end the game.
TC plays a doubleheader at Rust College Thursday and starts the first of a three-game weekend series against conference opponent Tougaloo College on the road Friday at 2 p.m.