SOMERVILLE, MA -- Leading 2-1 entering the sixth, the Lynx allowed four unanswered runs over the final four innings in Lesley University's 5-2 loss to visiting Southern Vermont Friday night in New England Collegiate Conference baseball play at Trum Field.
Dan Cook's (Watervliet, NY/Watervliet) two-run, sixth-inning home run to left field gave Southern Vermont (9-17, 3-6 NECC) back the lead for good, making a winner out of starter Devin Rhodes (Brattleboro, VT/Brattleboro), who kept Lynx hitters off-balance all night in scattering 10 hits and tallying 13 strikeouts.
Lesley (0-15, 0-5 NECC) tied the game at 1-1 in the second on a two-out Jeff Landry (Vestal, NY/Vestal) bloop single to shallow right, which scored Lynx starting pitcher Noah Shaw (Amston, CT/Lebanon).
The middle innings belonged to starting left-handers Shaw and Rhodes, with the Lynx lean lefty blowing batters away and the Southern Vermont southpaw keeping Lesley hitters guessing at his mixture of heat and devastating breaking balls. Shaw worked out of consecutive runner-on-third, no-out jams in the third and fourth to keep the game knotted into the fifth, when a pair of two-out hits gave the Lynx the lead.
Rhodes struck out Lesley's Ryan Genua looking to cap a streak of eight straight batters retired before shortstop Aqib Shah (Watertown, MA/Watertown) singled with two down. Lynx leading run producer Jeff Gonzalez (Watertown, MA/Watertown) struck a double to the corner in left, with Shah racing around from first base to break the 1-1 tie.
The Mountaineers answered with some two-out noise of their own, which ultimately marked the deciding blow. Cook's home run gave Southern Vermont a 3-2 lead, and the visitors added an unearned insurance run in each of the next two innings to take Game 1 of the three-game series, 5-2.
Both Cook and Corey Armstrong (Bennington, VT/Mount Anthony) went 2-for-4 with a run scored, with Cook driving in two.
For the Lynx, Shah went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with his first two doubles of the season. Shaw went 1-for-4 with a ground-rule double as he fell to 0-4 on the hill after allowing five runs, two earned, on six hits, seven walks and 12 strikeout over eight innings.
The teams meet back at Trum Field Saturday at noon for a doubleheader to wrap up the series.