Ticket Punched: Knights Head Back to NJCAA World Series
Brooklyn, NY (May 21, 2023) – The Northern Essex Community College baseball team is headed back to the NJCAA World Series for the second consecutive season and ninth time overall after claiming the Northeast District Championship with a two-game series sweep of Kingsborough Community College by a score of 5-2 on Sunday morning.
Playing as the home team, Knights starter Jagger Iovinella (Huntington Beach, CA) got into a first-inning jam as the Wave loaded the bases with no outs, but he was able to get out of the inning, allowing just one run.
NECC responded in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs of their own. Jomar Moreta (Lawrence) led off the inning with a single and went to third on a double from Kam Levesque (Hooksett, NH). Moreta scored on a sacrifice fly from Cooper Smith (Bloomington, MN). Levesque scored on a single to center from Anthony Marcano (Boston).
The Knights added a single run in the third as Levesque came around to score following a walk on a stand-up triple from Smith. Kingsborough made it a one-run game with a run in the top of the sixth before NECC added a pair of runs in the seventh to secure the win.
With two outs and two runners on in the bottom half of the seventh, Smith scorched a double to center field that scored Kevin Rodriguez (Manchester, NH), who led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Moreta would add the final run of the game, scoring on a passed ball after reaching on a one-out walk and advancing to third on the double by Smith.
Iovinella picked up the win going 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four and issuing one walk. Alex Sweeney (Raymond, NH) pitched 2 1/3 of one-hit relief, striking out one and setting up Knights ace Tristan Ciampa (Wilmington) to pick up the save and send the Knights to Greenville. Ciampa struck out two en route to the save.
The Knights will open up World Series play on Saturday, May 27th, at Pioneer Park in Greenville, TN. Seeding, opponent, and game times will be announced on Tuesday by the NJCAA Baseball Committee.
By Dan Blair, Director of Athletics