The Resurrection Christian baseball group entered Thursday’s contest proudly owning combined feelings.
In a single sense, RCS meant enterprise upon assembly a chance to enhance their No. 17 RPI rating earlier than commencing subsequent week’s regional event. Within the different, the Cougars hoped to chill and luxuriate in senior night time whereas the squad’s quartet of fourth-year starters soaked up their final-career dwelling sport.
To not fear, because of a monstrous third inning, coach Zach Bissell’s group happy each ends of the cut price through cruising to a stress-free 7-0 victory over Strasburg.
“It was somewhat little bit of each. Coach was telling us how this sport gave us a shot to get higher positions for playoffs,” senior Ryan Cicione mentioned. “However on the identical time, us seniors simply wished to get out and luxuriate in it. And everybody else on the market simply wished to make it the very best for us.”
Fittingly, throughout their last-ever nine-inning affair on RCS’ diamond, the group’s soon-to-be graduates chipped in vitally to the regular-season concluding win.
After coming into the aforementioned third body with no hit to their names, Cicione adopted up Ryan Ward’s leadoff bloop-single by connecting for a softly-hit knock of his personal. A pair of errors then furnished a 2-0 edge for the hosts en path to senior Nate Whitaker ripping a two-run double to interrupt the competition open.
“We’ve been leaving guys on base so much all year long,” Bissell mentioned. “However we lastly began scoring some runs and actually driving the ball. Our sticks are beginning to come round once we want them, which was actually good to see earlier than regionals.”
From there, whereas carrying a five-run benefit into the fourth, it was clean crusing as RCS’ veterans cracked a smile and relished the second.
Cicione, who additionally laced a triple as the one Cougar to file a number of hits, even obtained a uncommon alternative to pitch. The catcher/third baseman relieved starter Bryson Knapp within the seventh, throughout which he retired the facet in 4 batters.
“I pitched earlier years however didn’t actually get the possibility this yr,” Cicione mentioned. “However I’ve all the time cherished pitching. It was superior getting to do this in such a particular sport. I had enjoyable with it on the market.”
All jokes apart, the hosts constructed an general head-turning defensive show. As heavy winds gusted throughout the diamond, Strasburg totaled 4 errors upon noticeably struggling to trace often-unpredictable fly balls.
Nevertheless, RCS noticed no subject dealing with the situations because the Cougars posted zero errors and made loads of tough performs look simple.
Specifically, within the prime of the sixth, heart fielder Zach Cook dinner raced into deep proper earlier than making a lunging seize and firing again to first for a double play. The senior then recorded the competition’s last out with a formidable line-drive snag in useless heart.
“I don’t know the way our outfield does issues like that,” Bissell mentioned. “However it’s nice with the ability to have outfielders the place you assume the whole lot within the air is caught. It’s superb to look at them play. And immediately, they have been simply exhibiting out for his or her senior on the bump.”
Talking of mentioned senior pitcher, Knapp struck out 4 and allowed solely three hits over a crisp six innings.
Now, the Cougars await their regional draw following their third-straight victory. With the 3A state event at stake, it’s secure to imagine the squad will strategy subsequent week’s festivities proudly owning extra of an pressing mindset.
Though, senior night time’s evident steadiness of enterprise and pleasure maybe constitutes the ticket to RCS taking part in its greatest baseball.
“Everybody was on the market having a great time,” Cicione mentioned. “However I believe that’s in all probability the very best mindset to have, even going into regionals. If you happen to’re tight, you don’t produce. So have enjoyable with the sport. However when performs should be made, know when to take it critically.