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By Kelly Higginbotham
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – The Camden County College men’s baseball team defeated Montgomery County College 4-3 on April 12.

David Alvarez pitches in the first inning for the Cougars against Montgomery on April 12. By Kelly Higginbotham, CCC Journalism Program

David Alvarez, a sophomore from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, started for the CCC Cougars and pitched five innings.

Mario Cabrera, a sophomore from Bronx, N.Y., pitched the seventh inning and got the win. Peter Berenato, a freshman from Hammonton, pitched in the ninth to close the game for the Cougars.

“It felt good to pitch most of the game,” Alvarez said. “I felt uncomfortable in the beginning but settled down in the end.”

First-year Coach John Merkh called the effort “a team win.”

“There were no key players or plays of the game,” Merkh said. “Although the game didn’t go as we planned, we proved even when you don’t play your best, you can still win.”

Jason West, a sophomore from Woolwich, doubled in the bottom of the first inning and later scored on a single by Nick Ezzi. Both went 2 for 4 in the game.

“The intensity was low in the beginning, but toward the end, the intensity picked up,” West said. “Overall it was a good team win.”

The score was tied 1-1 until the top of the sixth inning, when, with a runner on third base, a Montgomery player attempted to steal second. The Cougars tagged him out but this allowed William Clarke to score, making it 2-1 Montgomery.

West drove in Eli Birriel, a sophomore from Williamstown, in the bottom of the sixth with a triple, tying the score at 2-2. Ezzi, a sophomore from Hammonton, then singled to drive in West to put the Cougars up 3-2.

The Mustangs tied it back up at 3-3 in the top of the seventh.

“It felt like we had control the whole time,” Ezzi said. “The game didn’t go the way we wanted, but we still pulled out the win.”

Hunter Brelsford, a freshman from Pittsgrove, doubled in the seventh. John Lindeborn, a sophomore from Gloucester City, laid a bunt down to get Brelsford to third. Christopher Caprio, a sophomore from Hammonton, then drove in Brelsford, putting the Cougars ahead 4-3.

Brelsford had a game-saving diving catch in the eighth.

“It was nice to help my team win,” Brelsford said. “Have to go hard every play.”

The win improved the Cougars’ record to 15-15.

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