Yellowjackets baseball team sweeps Century College

Apr. 28—WHITE BEAR LAKE — The Rochester Community and Technical College baseball team is on the verge of clinching a Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division regular season championship.

After a sweep of second-place Century College on Saturday, the Yellowjackets sit at 9-1 in the division and 21-13 overall. Century (8-6 MCAC South, 27-13 overall) is the only other team in the division with a division record of better than .500.

RCTC's sweep of two seven-inning games on Saturday wasn't easy, but it helped the Yellowjackets put even more space between themselves and Century. RCTC won the opener 8-3 and the nightcap 7-6.

The Yellowjackets needed some late-game heroics to win the opener. Century scored all three of its runs in the bottom of the first. RCTC got one run back in the second and one more in the fifth, but still trailed 3-2 going into the seventh.

The Yellowjackets bats then came to life; they sent 10 hitters to the plate, got seven hits and pushed six runs across to break the game open. Left fielder Luis Rodriguez delivered the big blow, a three-run home run with one out that put RCTC up for good, 5-3.

Third baseman Owen Vargas followed two batters later with a double, then scored on a Teagun Ahrens base hit. Jerry Santiago then drove in Ahrens with a two-out single.

That was more than enough for RCTC starter Reese Campanale, who pitched a complete game. He allowed three runs (all earned) on nine hits, with no walks and three strikeouts in seven innings pitched. After allowing a home run to the first batter he faced, plus an RBI double and an RBI single by Century hitters in the first inning, Campanale shut out Century the rest of the way. He gave up four hits in the first inning, then just five over the next six innings.

In Game 2, RCTC prevented Century from turning the tables with a late-inning rally. The Yellowjackets scored two runs in the first, two in the second and three in the fifth, and led 7-4 after five innings.

Century added a run in the sixth, then pulled within 7-6 on a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh by shortstop Chris Brey. But with the tying run in scoring position, RCTC reliever Griffin Olson got Caden Besemer to pop out to end the game.

Jerry Santiago Jr. earned the win for RCTC, pitching the first six innings, allowing five runs (just two earned) on eight hits, with four strikeouts and no walks. Olson allowed a run on two hits in the seventh, but earned the save.

Olson also led RCTC at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Campanale also was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.

RCTC is scheduled to host Century College in a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Monday in Rochester, weather permitting.

BOX SCORE, GAME 1: RCTC 8, Century College 3

BOX SCORE, GAME 2: RCTC 7, Century College 6