Baseball Splits Conference Doubleheader with NEC

Baseball Splits Conference Doubleheader with NEC

Courtesy of New England College Sports Information 

KINGSTON, R.I.—The Thomas College baseball team spilt a North Atlantic Conference (NAC) doubleheader with New England College, falling 4-3 in extra innings in game one followed by a 7-6 victory in game two.

With today's results, NEC brings its record to 8-10 overall and 1-3 in NAC play, while Thomas is now 2-15 overall and 2-4 in the league.

NEC 4, Thomas 3 – 9 innings

Pinch-hitter Garrett Waldron hit a bases-loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to push the game-winning run across the plate as the Pilgrims downed Thomas 4-3 in extra innings.

Vincent Backert earned the complete-game win, scattering seven hits, three earned runs, a walk and nine strikeouts over the nine innings for the Pilgrims.

The first three innings were scoreless as Thomas plated the first two runs in the game in the top of the fourth as Alex Curtis (Monmouth, Maine) and Riley Simonetti (Minneapolis, Minn.) picked up RBI. The damage could have been worse, as Jordan Gibson (Marietta, Ga.) singled to center field with two outs to load the bases, but Hank Vinall (Blue Hill, Maine) struck out to strand three runners on.

NEC answered with two of their own runs in the bottom of the fourth as a one-out single by Jeam Castillo drove in two runs.

The Pilgrims tacked on a third run in the bottom of the sixth as a double down the left field line scored Delaney from first base. The Pilgrims looked poised to win in the scheduled seven innings, but a three-hit inning for Thomas allowed them to plate a run on a tough-to-handle infield single by Derek LeBlanc (Madison, Maine).

NEC left a runner on in the bottom of the seventh and both teams stranded runners in the eighth.

The Pilgrims tallied seven hits in the day. Evan Delaney batted 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base.

For Thomas, Gibson was 2-for-4 at the plate while Grant Corbett (Manchester, N.H) batted 1-for-4 with a double.

Thomas 7, NEC 6

The Pilgrims opened game two strong, as designated hitter, Conor Crouse opened the bottom of the first with a lead-off triple and came around to score on a single by Vargas. Vargas would then steal second and third and scored on a double by Jameson Carey for the early 2-0 lead.

NEC's starting pitcher Selah Dalomba pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the first but struggled in the second as he hit the lead-off batter, who eventually came around to score one of Thomas's three runs in the inning. Dalomba was pulled after one-and-two-thirds for Joseph Pascucci, who tossed 1.1 innings before Carey took over on the mound.

The Pilgrims took the lead briefly in the bottom of the fifth. Aneury Lara and Luis Atiles reached on a bunt single and a sac-bunt error, respectively, to put runners on first and second with no outs. Lara scored from second on a single up the middle by Delaney, and Atiles came around to score on a one-out groundout to by Backert.

Thomas would tie it up at 4-4 in the top of the sixth as lead-off batter Antonio Martinez (Coral Springs, Fla.) was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a sac-bunt, and came around to score on an infield single by Tristan Pena (Portland, Texas). The Terriers held NEC scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, sending the game into the seventh inning tied for the second time on the day.

Thomas capitalized on an NEC fielding error and a walk before rattling off back-to-back doubles by Vinall and Pena to plate three runs in the top of the seventh for a 7-4 advantage.

NEC's lead-off batter Lara walked and moved to second on a groundout to third by Atiles, but attempted to move up on a passed ball and was thrown out at third for the second out of the inning.

Vargas singled to shortstop and came around to score as Delaney tripled to right-center, who also trotted across the plate on a single by Backert. NEC put two runners on as Carey drew a walk, forcing Thomas to bring in Taylor Bacon (Skowhegan, Maine) to pitch, who pitched Castillo into a groundout to end the game.

NEC tallied 10 hits on the day as Crouse, Vargas, Delaney and Carey all had two-hit days.

Carey took the loss on the mound, scattering four hits, four runs (one earned), two walks and five strikeouts over four innings.

Thomas's Matt Rutherford (Saco, Maine) earned the win, scattering 10 runs, six runs (five earned), three walks and three strikeouts over 6.2 innings.

The two teams continue their four-game series tomorrow at the University of Rhode Island's Bill Beck Field. First pitch is slated for noon.