ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A dad’s birthday present came in the shape of a bases-clearing triple and provided an ounce of redemption for the gift-giver.
Mike Pringle (Pittsford-Sutherland) highlighted a five-run sixth inning in game two, and the Monroe Community College Tribunes swept the Genesee Community College Cougars (8-6/8-4) in non-league action Sunday at Tribune Field.
“The entire at bat I saw the ball much better and was ready when I finally got my pitch to hit,” Pringle explained. “I just tried to focus on contact and keep my swing as short as possible.”
Pringle’s three-bagger gave Monroe some needed insurance and proved timely in helping the Monroe right fielder celebrate his father’ s birthday. It also took the weight of the world off a player who had struck out in his three previous at bats.
“The whole game I was out ahead of everything,” Pringle explained. “I was just really trying to make the adjustment in the on-deck circle of letting the ball get deep and hitting it the other way. Although I didn’t hit it the other way, my approach was much better.”
Alex Bellardini (Elmira Free Academy) picked up the win in his longest outing of the season. The sophomore hurler allowed one run on four hits over five innings of work. The 6-4 right-hander struck out seven and walked three.
“I saw a lot of free swingers today,” Bellardini stated. “The slider was working good. I felt good with it. The grip felt good.”
Bellardini left the bases loaded in the first with a pair of strike outs and did not allow another hit until a two-out single through the box in the fourth.
“I just had to get settled in,” Bellardini noted. “Had to keep pitching to contact and trust my teammates to get outs. It was just a comfort level and being a little smarter with my pitches. Had to get my pitches down on their bigger bats.”
Bellardini improved to 2-0 getting five ground ball outs, one infield pop up and two fly ball outs.
“He found his breaking pitch,” Monroe coach Dave Brust said. “All our guys need to work through their little rough patches. They just can’t wonder if I’m going to come and get them or not.
“That’s what we needed him to do. We needed him to eat innings and certainly keep us in the game.”
Monroe scored a pair of unearned runs to take a 3-1 lead in the third. Connor Lewis (St. Marguerite d’Youville) and Johnny Ricotta (Greece Athena) worked back-to-back base on balls. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for Anthony Santoro (Henninger) who reached on an error to score both runs.
Lucas Godlewski (Little Falls) worked two innings of relief picking up his first save of the season. After a triple to the first batter he faced, the right-hander ended the inning with a strike-’em-out throw-’em-out double play.
Godlewski allowed the first four batters to reach in the seventh before retiring the side on a pair of ground balls and a strike out.
“With Lucas he’s still trying to earn his stripes per se,” Brust said. “Letting him finish out the game and work through another a rough patch was important for him. It was a good to see him close it out.”
Luke Tomczyk (Churchville-Chili) improved to 3-2 on the season with the win in game one. The right-hander struck out six.
Collin Stack (Maple Grove) capped a three-run first with a triple to score Santoro and Pringle, and Monroe never looked back.
Ricotta and Luke Brust (Honeoye Falls-Lima) brought home runs in three-run third inning as Monroe pushed its advantage to 7-1.
Brown finished 3-5 on the day with a run and an RBI.
Boutelle went 1-2 with two walks and two sacrifice bunts. He scored twice.
“He brings a lot of baseball IQ,” Brust said of MCC’s designated hitter. “He’s very mature and understands what his job is. He shows he can be in there every day and contribute in many ways. He bunts well and is a good contact guy. He runs the bases well, and he’s got good foot speed.”
MCC improved to 15-11 on the season.
The Tribunes host Finger Lakes Community College on Tuesday. A 1 p.m. first pitch is scheduled.