By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A six-day layoff between games showed ill effects on Saturday.
Johnny Ricotta collected four hits including two home runs, but it was not enough as the Monroe Community College Tribunes dropped a pair (14-6/9-7) to Northampton Community College in NJCAA action at Tribune Field on Saturday.
Ricotta connected on his team-leading fourth and fifth roundtrippers of the season while driving in five runs. The sophomore first baseman also doubled and walked. His three-run shot with two outs in the nightcap’s bottom of the fifth gave Monroe a 6-2 advantage and looked like insurance runs.
But the Spartans rallied to score seven runs in the seventh – the final four with two outs.
The numbers were hard to ignore. MCC, which committed just two errors in 41 innings a week ago, made nine miscues in 14 innings on Saturday. The black and gold could not have been any more generous in hitting five batters, issuing nine walks and a combination of eight wild pitches/passed balls. Only Mother Teresa could be more giving.
At the same time, Northampton pounded out 23 hits while improving to 12-3 on the season.
Monroe, which had won four straight and seven of eight, has now dropped six in a row and fell to 9-13 on the season.
After matching a season-high allowing 14 runs in the first game, MCC looked in command when Jake Hewitt come out of the bullpen in game two and escaped a bases-loaded situation in the fifth. Ricotta made it a 6-2 game in the home half.
Hewitt retired the side in order in the sixth – the first such occurrence for the Monroe staff on the day. He issued a walk to start the seventh but induced a pop up that fell between three fielders in shallow right center. The right-hander struck out the next batter before allowing a run to score on an infield hit.
It looked like he would end the game or at least minimize the damages when he induced a ground ball, but the first of three Tribune errors in the stanza cued the merry go round. When the music stopped, Monroe trailed 9-6.
Ricky Sisto got Monroe on the board in game two with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the first.
Sisto singled to start the fourth, stole second, moved to third on a Nick Rubino sacrifice bunt and came home on a wild pitch. MCC led 3-0.
Alex Canty plated a run in the seventh.
Monroe led briefly in game one. Ricotta drilled a double off the fence in straight center to score Rubino and Boutelle. Brent Turpyn walked, and Frankie Pizzo gave MCC a 3-2 edge after one with a two-out single.
Monroe trailed 5-4 after three before the flood gates opened.
Pat Connor came on in the fifth with the Tribunes trailing 13-4, a runner on second and one out. The left-hander set down the first two he faced to get out of the inning without any further damage. Northampton’s Christian Del Toro reached on an error to start the sixth, but Connor got out of the inning only allowing another to reach when hit by pitch.
Monroe had Tuesday’s doubleheader versus Lakeland CC postponed because of weather. Weather also preventer the Tribunes double dip versus Herkimer on Thursday.
Monroe four games at Cuyahoga Community College last weekend. The Tribs lost 2-0 and 7-4 on Saturday before falling 5-3 and 4-2 the next day.
Monroe travels to play Lackawanna College on Sunday. The Tribunes open Region 3 play at Mercyhurst NE on Tuesday.