NEW BRITAIN â€“ A one-hitter from Civic Leadershipâ€™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 Ravensâ€™ 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.
â€śThis is our first time facing a pitcher with a consistent curveball so he was throwing consistently and we just werenâ€™t expecting it,â€ť Innovation junior Adam Renta said.
Renta served as the Ravensâ€™ starter and went toe-to-toe with Mojica, finishing with 11 strikeouts himself in six innings, with the difference being Renta didnâ€™t get much help in the batterâ€™s box.
â€śPitching has been the one thing thatâ€™s shown up for us, every game that weâ€™ve played so far this season,â€ť Innovation coach Ben Krier said. â€śThe batâ€™s been a different story. Either the top of our lineup produces or we donâ€™t produce. Thatâ€™s kind of what itâ€™s come down to in a couple different games for us.â€ť
Just five Ravens reached base throughout the game with Ortizâ€™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 Aponteâ€™s two RBI single. Renta also gave up two walks and hit two batters in the frame, which put the Ravens behind 6-0.
â€śMy curveball wasnâ€™t working today,â€ť Renta said. â€śI think the same batter, the number four batter (Aponte), I kept throwing the curveball to himâ€¦not working.â€ť
â€śOur pitchers have been as deep and as good as basically any team Iâ€™ve seen so far this season,â€ť Krier said. â€śThey donâ€™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.â€ť
Another run in the seventh solidified the shut out win for Civic Leadership, as it cruised to its seventh win of the season.
â€śThis was my hardest day pitching,â€ť Renta said. â€śI 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 thatâ€™s when they started scoring those three runs, then I think I got three strikeouts that inning. Thereâ€™s nothing you can do, itâ€™s baseball.â€ť
A handful of fielding errors during the contest by Innovation hurt its ability to keep the score close.
â€śWe have a very young, inexperienced team, where a lot of the kids that started, had never played on the big field before,â€ť Krier said. â€śWe feel good playing against a team of that caliber. They are a much more clean, mature team. Theyâ€™ve been through a lot more situationally, and we feel like weâ€™re able to hang with them, we just didnâ€™t quite put the runs on the board that we needed to.â€ť
â€śThe more teams we play the better weâ€™re going to get along the way,â€ť Ravens junior Yonathan Ramos said. â€śLetâ€™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.â€ť
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).