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John Carroll Grabs District Win Over Coral Springs Christian

Ryne Guida singles to right field to drive in the Crusaders’ first run in the bottom of the first inning.

It was a long trip to play but a fun drive home for the John Carroll Rams, after the club earned a 6-2 win over host Coral Springs Christian Academy Thursday afternoon in a 3A-7 game. The Rams improved to 2-0 in the district to keep pace at the front of the pack thanks largely to a four-run third inning that put them in control. The action was halted due to rain early in the sixth inning, and the final was reverted back to the results after the final completed inning.

“We had bases loaded a couple of times but didn’t put the ball in play and had strikeouts, and I thought that was the difference in the game,” Crusaders manager Steve Carp said. “They got some key hits but it seems like we can compete for a little bit and then the speed of the game is too much for some of the guys. There are things you have to do right and right off in order to be successful, and we’re not doing them right now.”

Down by a run and held in check the first time through the order, the Rams’ batters got going the second time through in the top of the third. The Rams (2-2, 2-0) sent eight batters to the plate in the third, and four of them scored. They tacked on two more in the fourth, and were back at it again in the sixth when the rain forced the game to be called.

Mark Robbins went three-and-two-third innings and stuck out four while allowing three hits and six walks.

“We have to play a cleaner game,” Carp said. “When you make errors you have to throw so many more pitches and the confidence and momentum kind of lags at that point. We are in the process of getting better and we talk to them and drill with them everyday. We played a good game the first one of the year and against elev8 and hopefully we can get that back.”

The Crusaders capitalized on that sluggishness to grab the lead with their first swings. Tyler Goff and Diego Mendoza were both hit by a pitch, and Ryne Guida drove an RBI single to right field to give Coral Springs Christian a 1-0 lead.

Goff got it started again his next time up in the third with a single up the middle. After Jordan Small walked to move Goff into scoring position, Mendoza pulled a liner deep to the left field corner for an RBI double.

Those were all of the Crusaders’ hits, as the Rams’ pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts.

“I think right now they are going through the stage where they realize they are not home run hitters; they have got to put the ball in play,” Carp said. “We have to make them anticipate the ball coming to them and not trying to think as it happens. It’s not totally discouraging yet, but it’s not encouraging yet either. It is somewhere between the two. I think a win will help get over the hump towards that.”

Diego Mendoza celebrates after an RBI double in the third inning.

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