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Avery Point rolls to 11-1 win in NJCAA Division II East District opener

A six-run second inning put the UConn Avery Point baseball team in front on Friday in its NJCAA Division II East District tournament opener at Cantine Field in Saugerties, N.Y.

It turned out to be plenty of support for starting pitcher Alex Mach who went the distance in an 11-1 victory over Sullivan County Community College in a game that lasted six innings because of the mercy rule. Mach allowed five hits and struck out five.

“Always important to get that first one, so that was nice,” coach Ian Ratchford said. “Alex Mach threw very well. He was pounding the zone all day. He worked through a little bit of trouble. He pretty much coasted after the second inning.

“... The guys made a couple of really good plays. Javon (Hernandez) made six or seven plays at shortstop. The outfield played well. It was a good day all-around. I was happy to see that.”

The win set up a winners’ bracket matchup between the Pointers (23-11-1) and Mercer County Community College (31-17) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Mercer defeated Ulster County Community College 22-10 in Friday's second game.

Hernandez’s bases-loaded triple highlighted the four-run second inning and created a 6-0 cushion. The Pointers added two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to close out the game.

Avery Point rode a balanced attack as Hernandez finished with two hits, three RBI and scored three runs while Jaden Fowler and Zachery Mascaro chipped in three hits and an RBI apiece and Tyler Rice added two hits and a team-high four RBI.

“Our two through five hitters had very good days,” Ratchford said.

The Pointers are in great shape moving forward.

With Mach throwing a complete game, Avery Point’s pitching staff is well-rested for the next game.

“We didn’t have to use any bullpen arms, which is huge,” Ratchford said.

If the Pointers win Saturday, they’ll move into the championship round on Sunday. A loss would drop them into a losers’ bracket game at 4 p.m. Saturday.

They’re attempting to advance to the JUCO World Series for the eighth time in program history and first time since 2017.

g.keefe@theday.com

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