Kean High edges Complex

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ST. THOMAS - The St. Croix Educational Complex baseball team finally found its match. Unfortunately for the Barracudas (7-2), Ivanna Eudora Kean was ready.

The Devil Rays (3-2) scored in the second inning and held on for a 1-0 win through seven innings Friday at Lionel Roberts Stadium. Accustomed to beating up on St. Croix's Central High School (1-7), Complex faced a different opponent for the first time this season.

Kean sophomore Caleem Serrant and junior Kyu Matthews combined for the shutout and senior Omar Emmanuel hit a tough grounder past Complex senior shortstop Dalton Benjamin to drive in the game's lone run.

"I had two outs, and coach was like, he gave me the green light, so I took it to my advantage," Emmanuel said. "I always take the first pitch to see what the pitchers are throwing, and then next pitch I made contact, and I saw the ball go in the field, so I just ran it out."

Kean senior Steven LeBlanc scored the run after connecting for a single and stealing second base. Complex starting pitcher Ray Parrilla was on target through much of his four and 1/3 innings. The senior gave up the two hits in the second, but struck out eight batters before being relieved by senior Ian Lewis with one out in the fifth. Parrilla had walked two batters. Kean had a chance to extend the lead with bases loaded and two outs, but Lewis got junior second baseman Emari Mills to hit a pop-fly to shortstop with full count.

Lewis was one of three Barracudas to reach third base, but he was caught in a run down in the fifth inning for Complex's second out. Serrant got Complex junior Evanson Matthews to pop out for the final out, stranding two runners.

"I was trying to get them to commit to home, and then I would've run there, but he played it good," Lewis said. "He followed me and then threw it home and got me in a good run down."

Parrilla hit a slow grounder back toward the mound, allowing Serrant to freeze Lewis midway between third base and home plate.

"Well, I had the infield drawn in just in case the runner broke home and it was a bad base-running error by the base runner," Kean coach Lloyd Jackson said. "It helped me out, so I was happy he did it. We played just for that moment."

Kyu Matthews relieved Serrant in the sixth inning and retired all six batters he faced. With a full count against Complex junior Stephan Walwyn, Matthews threw a fastball to catch the batter looking for the game's final out.

"I was just trying to get the strikeout. That's it," Matthews said. "I like to close games. Caleem pitched a terrific game. He just got tired, so I came in in relief. I wanted to continue the work that he was doing."

Matthews had two strikeouts for the save, and Serrant had four in the win.

Complex left five runners on base. Coach Ellerton Maynard is hoping for sharper play when his team faces Charlotte Amalie (2-2) at 10 a.m. today.

"We could've capitalized on the position of the game, and we just didn't. It just wasn't in our favor tonight, but, hey, tomorrow we come back and do what we gotta do," Maynard said.

Ellerton is without his Nos. 3 and 4 batters this weekend, shortstop Jose Martinez Jr. and catcher Raymond Sankitts, who are also his top defensive players. Their parents opted to not send them to St. Thomas with exams planned for Monday and Tuesday.

Kean 1, Complex 0

Complex 000 000 0 - 0 4 1

Kean 010 000 x - 1 2 1

Team batteries: Ray Parrilla, Ian Lewis (5) and Darren Stevens; Caleem Serrant, Kyu Matthews (6) and Aseah Thomas.

WP - Serrant; LP - Parrilla; Sv - Matthews

Highlights: Complex, Parrilla 4.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 8 K; Kean, Serrant 5 IP, 3 H, 4 K, Omar Emmanuel 1-3, 2B, RBI, Steven LeBlanc 1-3, R, SB.

- Contact Tim Chapman at 714-9102 or

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