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First-timer Sinclair opens with World Series win

First-timer Sinclair opens with World Series win

By Bruce Campbell - Enid News & Eagle - Link To Article

 

ENID, OKLA. — Sinclair Community College, in its first  NJCAA Division II World Series appearance, followed the philosophy of a sign in the Pride’s dugout Sunday in a 9-2 win over Monroe (N.Y.) County at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Okla.

“Eliminate the Fear, It’s Fun.”

“We’re just having fun and enjoying ourselves down here,” said Pride coach Steve Dintaman, whose team raised its record to 51-10. “We love to compete, and we’re always fighting to the last pitch. It felt good to get our feet wet in the World Series.”

The Pride used old-school baseball with a little power at the end when Tyler Cowles and Ben Myers hit solo home runs. They stole five bases. They had two sacrifices.

Myers set the tone for the day in the second inning when he stole second and scored on a single by Brody Basilone. Basilone scored when Mercer third baseman Collin Stack overthrew third on a sacrifice by Billy Kidd to put his team up 2-1.

Myers had an RBI single and stole second again in the third. He scored on a Daniel O’Keefe single to make it 4-1.

“I’m trying to use my skills to the best of my ability,” Myers said. “I tried to take advantage of my speed.”

Myers, who hit his fourth homer of the season in the eighth inning, hit a slider over the right field fence.

“It was coming in belt-high, so I stuck the barrel in there and let it do the work,” he said.

Closer Travis Rowland — with a 7-2 lead — was summoned in the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. He got behind Matt Brooks 3-0, but fought back to get him to ground into an usual 3-2 doubleheader. First baseman Connor Cleary tagged first to retire Brooks and threw home to nail a sliding Luke Brust for the third out.

“That double play was huge,” Dintaman said. “Travis is the guy that we’re going to go to in tough situations. He’s our man.”

It was one of three double plays for Sinclair. There’s a palm tree in the Sinclair dugout which explains another Pride philosophy — bend, but don’t break.

“Palm trees bend a little, but don’t break,” Dintaman said. “We bent a little but never broke.”

Alex Anders (four innings) and Jake Mason (three and a third) stopped Monroe for 7 1/3 innings. Dintaman said the good thing is both can come back later in the tournament.

Sinclair was more than ready to play after having a 13-hour bus trip Thursday and sitting around Saturday when the first four games of the tournament were played.

“We liked the break, but we’re here for baseball,” Dintaman said. “We’re not used to sitting in hotels. With our budget, we have to play a lot of games. We’re just glad to have as many fans and parents come out.”

“The bus ride was terrible,” Myers said, “but it was worth it. We definitely had fun today.”

Sinclair plays today’s Western Oklahoma-Mercer County winner at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Monroe faces the loser of that contest at 1 p.m. on Tuesday in an elimination game.