Innovation baseball loses pitchers duel, falls to Civic Leadership, 7-0

Published on Monday, 17 May 2021 20:28
Written by Ryan Ames


NEW BRITAIN – A one-hitter from Civic Leadership’s Raul Mojica proved to be too much for Innovation baseball in its 7-0 loss Monday at Walnut Hill Park.

Jacob Ortiz poked a single out to left field for the Ravens’ only hit of the afternoon during the third inning, in an otherwise sparkling performance from Mojica. The sophomore was lights out the rest of the contest, tossing seven scoreless innings while earning a game-high 12 strikeouts.

“This is our first time facing a pitcher with a consistent curveball so he was throwing consistently and we just weren’t expecting it,” Innovation junior Adam Renta said.

Renta served as the Ravens’ starter and went toe-to-toe with Mojica, finishing with 11 strikeouts himself in six innings, with the difference being Renta didn’t get much help in the batter’s box.

“Pitching has been the one thing that’s shown up for us, every game that we’ve played so far this season,” Innovation coach Ben Krier said. “The bat’s been a different story. Either the top of our lineup produces or we don’t produce. That’s kind of what it’s come down to in a couple different games for us.”

Just five Ravens reached base throughout the game with Ortiz’s base-knock, and a pair of walks and hit-batsmen.

The visitors had more success swinging as they concluded with six hits, including two doubles from Mojica and another from Justin Oquendo.

The fifth inning resulted in the most runs allowed for Renta as Civic Leadership brought in three, led by Roy Aponte’s two RBI single. Renta also gave up two walks and hit two batters in the frame, which put the Ravens behind 6-0.

“My curveball wasn’t working today,” Renta said. “I think the same batter, the number four batter (Aponte), I kept throwing the curveball to him…not working.”

“Our pitchers have been as deep and as good as basically any team I’ve seen so far this season,” Krier said. “They don’t always get the support in the field but we put a good starter on the mound every game that we play. I feel very comfortable in all my starters.”

Another run in the seventh solidified the shut out win for Civic Leadership, as it cruised to its seventh win of the season.

“This was my hardest day pitching,” Renta said. “I wanted to go right at them right away. Then all those errors came in and my mind kind of shut off for a second, and that’s when they started scoring those three runs, then I think I got three strikeouts that inning. There’s nothing you can do, it’s baseball.”

A handful of fielding errors during the contest by Innovation hurt its ability to keep the score close.

“We have a very young, inexperienced team, where a lot of the kids that started, had never played on the big field before,” Krier said. “We feel good playing against a team of that caliber. They are a much more clean, mature team. They’ve been through a lot more situationally, and we feel like we’re able to hang with them, we just didn’t quite put the runs on the board that we needed to.”

“The more teams we play the better we’re going to get along the way,” Ravens junior Yonathan Ramos said. “Let’s say we play them [in our] first game, they would have ran up the score, but we were able to contain them better. We just had a breakdown and nothing you can really do.”

Innovation (4-4) will welcome Capital Prep on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

Civic Leadership 7, Innovation 0

Civic Leadership    201 030 1 -- 7 6 0

Innovation        000 000 0 -- 0 1 2

W -- Raul Mojica (CL); L -- Adam Renta (I)

2B: Mojica 2, Justin Oquendo (CL)

Records: Innovation (4-4), Civic Leadership (7-3).

Posted in New Britain Herald, Innovation on Monday, 17 May 2021 20:28. Updated: Monday, 17 May 2021 20:30.