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Bucs Baseball Team Earns First Ever Top 10 Ranking

04/06/2021
baseball

On Monday the Atlantic Cape Community College baseball team received the program’s first top 10 rankings in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III poll.

The exciting news marks the first time in history the Atlantic Cape Buccaneers are ranked 10th! The ranking comes as a morale booster after a disappointing doubleheader this past Saturday at Surf Stadium in Atlantic City.

The Bucs (8-2) hung tough, but ultimately lost both games 5-3 and 4-2 to this highly touted NJCAA Division II school. In the end, Mercer County Community College pulled away with the two victories.

Jake Brennan took the loss in the first game. The lefthander allowed four runs on six hits with five strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings. Collin McLaughlin was credited with the win for Mercer, allowing zero hits and one run over two innings, striking out two, and walking none.  Angel Murray went 2 for 4 at the plate in the first game.

The Bucs had a 3-2 lead with two outs in the top of the seventh inning and with their starting Ace and Co-Captain, Jake Brennan on the mound. The Bucs were one strike away from victory when Brennan’s pitch was driven hard along the third base foul line when Bucs third baseman and Co-Captain Nick Atohi laid out making a diving play on the ball behind the bag. He sprang to his feet, firing across the diamond to the mitt of first baseman and Co-Captain, Murray who made a valiant attempt to grab the ball. Instead, it hopped over his mitt as the runner made his way onto second base. The next batter allowed Mercer to tie the game and a blooper to left scored the go-ahead run. TJ Cheli was brought in to shut things down, which he did, but not before the winning run was plated by the Vikings.

In the second game of the set, the Bucs watched the game slip away early and could not recover, despite a mid-game rally, resulting in a 4-2 loss. Mercer scored on a double, a single, and a walk in the first inning. By the end of the game, Mercer racked up seven hits.  Pete Calandra took the loss for the Bucs, allowing three hits and three runs with one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Sam Irvin was credited with the victory for Mercer. He went five and a third innings, allowing two runs on one hit and striking out four. Marco Martinez threw one and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen. Angel Murray went 1 for 3 in the second game.

Despite the twin bill loss, Atlantic Cape managed to crack the top ten in the National standings while remaining in first place in their region.  Come and join the fun when the Bucs are back this Wednesday, April 7th at 3:30 p.m. at Surf Stadium. The team will be looking to return to their winning ways against ninth-ranked Brookdale Community College. For more information about Atlantic Cape's baseball program, view their full schedule and roster, or find out about donating to their “Bring it Home” campaign, please visit atlantic.edu/baseball. If you are unable to attend the game in person please use the link to live stream.