The Centennial Colts took both games in the double header against the Sheridan Bruins, winning the second game of the night 13-3 by mercy rule on Wednesday in OCAA action.
Kevin Akiyama was the surprise hero for the Colts (6-7) after starting pitcher Michael Hapanovich was injured by a ground ball late in the second inning.
He came in with no notice to pitch for Hapanovich and gave up only two hits and no runs in two and one-third innings.
“I went in there and I was thinking ‘I just got to throw strikes and do my job,’” said the second-year pitcher on the sudden call-up to the mound. “I have people behind me and they’re going to help me out as well.”
The hot hitting certainly helped, as the team had 12 hits in the game.
Josh Savoie went three-for-three at the plate, with three RBIs and three runs scored. Riley Briggs scored three runs as well, and had two hits which included a double. A total of three players scored three runs, the other being Owen Nichols.
Dylan Langlois tried to get the offence going for Sheridan (2-12) with a two-run single in the second inning that cut Centennial’s lead to one, but everything dried up for them after that three-run inning. The Colts’ bats, combined with six fielding errors from the Bruins, proved too much to overcome.
Starting pitcher Curtis Vandenberg had one strikeout and one walk across three innings, giving up 10 hits and 10 runs, with six of them earned. Reliever Jackson Stumpf could not stop the bleeding, walking two hitters and giving up three more runs, one of them earned, in just one inning of work.
Centennial’s Hapanovich got through one and two-third innings before the injury. He gave up three hits and three runs, walking one batter and striking out two before his night was over.
Rolando Rodriguez closed out the game quickly in the fifth inning for Centennial. He walked the first batter he faced before a flyout and a diving tag on first base by Liam Oates set up the final third of the inning. The rookie from Panama struck out Sheridan’s Jesse Berney to end the game in emphatic fashion.
“We just reset everything,” said assistant coach Koji Yamane about the team losing the previous double header against Fanshawe College. They got the sweep in this one to help build some momentum as the hunt for a postseason berth continues. “You focus on what you need, and what you want to be … we just restart from today.”
The third-year coach added that they “saved some arms, so (they) will be ready.”