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After a close opening day win before a blowout loss the following day, the Indians’ baseball team was looking to end its first week of 2013 on a high note versus Cross on April 6 at home.
Guilford regained its composure and then some, as the Indians used a 12-run fifth inning to carry them to a 22-1 landslide victory over the Governors. While Cross drew first blood in the second with a run, Head Coach Brian Hayden’s squad never looked back, nailing down two runs in the second, three in the third, and another pair in the fourth leading into the dozen it doused on the visitors for the fifth.
“In the beginning of this game, they came ready to play,” said Hayden, whose club surrendered only two hits. “They got down early, but didn’t panic and made plays. Cross made some mistakes, but we hit the ball hard and got good pitching counts to make contact.”
Junior starting pitcher CJ Anthony-making his first varsity start-tossed a complete game, surrendering only two hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. He also helped his own cause by going 3-for-6 with a double and three RBIs.
“It feels nice to get a win like this, as we have been working hard,” said Anthony. “I couldn’t do it today without my teammates behind me. I definitely had them going on my curveball today, and we are just taking it game-to-game, getting winning weeks, and making a run to the state tournament.”
After both squads stood scoreless after one, Cross (0-3) got its lone run thanks to a leadoff double, a steal of third base, and finally a sacrifice fly. Guilford (2-1) then responded with a RBI single from junior infielder PJ Ciocca (3-for-3, 2 RBI) and double from junior outfielder TJ Williams to take a 2-1 lead.
Following Cross going down in order, which it did five times on the day, the Indians struck with two down in the third. Junior designated hitter Nick Rubino smacked a RBI single before Anthony lined a two-run, two-bagger to make it a 5-1 Guilford command.
Nothing changed except the score in the home half of the fourth, as the Indians saw RBI hits from senior first baseman Ryan Fraser (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and senior outfielder Dante Parisi (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 doubles) to take a six-run edge before the flood gates opened in the fifth inning.
In that frame, after Williams (on a triple) and senior second baseman Mike Brockett (hit by a pitch) both got on base, senior shortstop Zach Battipaglia brought Williams home before Fraser made it 9-1 with his second RBI of the game.
Following Guilford taking two more tallies on a duo of passed balls, Ciocca drove another home on a single. Anthony then used a hit to drive in his third Indian of the day before junior infielder Joe Nault drove in another man to make it 15-1, as both sandwiched another run on a bases-loaded walk.
To cap off the offensive outburst after another score on a fly out, Brian Monte hit a run-scoring single before Parisi brought another across the plate on a sac fly and junior infielder Christian Treiber sent the final run in on a double.
“We have been working and talking about coming back strong,” said Parisi. “It certainly helped to come back at them after they scored first.”
While Anthony struck out two in the sixth, additional runs were provided on a free pass with the bags juiced, another RBI from Treiber, and a hit batsman for the Guilford side of the frame. Anthony then returned to the hill to close the door on his strong day with his final strikeout and two pop outs in the seventh.
“CJ was composed, he threw strike, and threw the ball well,” said Hayden. “Going forward, we need to clean up defensive mistakes and throw strikes. If we can put the ball hard in play, we will feel good about ourselves. Offensively, I like where we are at now; we are getting good counts and putting the ball in play, which is all I can ask for.”
After an 8-7 win over Branford at home on April 3, the Indians then traveled the next day to Amity, where they took a 14-1 loss.