SOMERVILLE, MA – Lesley University baseball wrapped up its second season at 8-26 (4-14 NECC) with a 20-8 loss to Becker College (19-18, 12-6), which secured the No. 2 seed for the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament with a resounding win on Sunday at Trum Field.
Led by Austin Phillips (Thomson, GA/Thomson), who went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI's, and Weston Meehan (Thomson, GA/Thomson), who went 4-for-6 with three runs scored, four driven in, and a home run that made him the Hawks all-time leader, the Hawks rattled off 23 base hits in support of five strong innings from starter Keon Jenkins (Nashua, NH/Nashua).
For Lesley, freshman Tyler Plourd (Canton, CT/Canton) capped an outstanding freshman season in which he hit .380 by going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI's. Andrew Colon (Chelsea, MA/Chelsea) and Ray Cohen (Coventry, CT/Coventry) each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, but an early deficit compounded by seven Lesley errors was too much to overcome in the Lynx season finale.
After an infield hit by Joseph Corey (Billerica, MA/Billerica), the Hawks centerfielder stole second and a Noah Shaw(Amston, CT/Lebannon) throwing error on a pickoff play allowed Corey to score without Becker getting the ball out of the infield. Tommy Natoli (Suffern, NY/Suffern) did just that, roping a one-out RBI double to right-center. Plourd misplayed a fly ball off the bat of Mike Marcello (West Haven, CT/West Haven) that allowed another run to score, and Phillips drove in one and Mike Smith (Warner, NH/Kearsage) plated two with back-to-back RBI singles.
After all was said and done, 13 batters, five hits and two errors resulted in a 6-0 lead and chased Shaw from the game after just a third of an inning. On in relief, Ryan Genua (Woodland, CT/Prospect) stranded the bases loaded with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning and limit the damage to six runs.
Lesley wasted no time retaliating, with a Plourd single scoring leadoff hitter Cohen and a balk sending Colon plateward to chip into the early margin for two first-inning runs.
Meehan and Natoli each scored for the second time in the second, the latter on a double-steal of home, but in the bottom of the inning, a two-base error by Corey in center allowed David Hersey (Wolfeboro, NH/Kingswood) to reach second and score to come within 8-3. Aqib Shah (Watertown, MA/Watertown) reached on a Marcello error in the third and was driven in by a John Gosnell (Toronto, ON/York) single through the left side, but Becker got the run back on a Meehan homer to left and a Phillips sacrifice fly that made it a 10-4 game.
A bases-loaded, two-out, two-run single to center off the bat of Phillips made it a 13-4 game in the fourth, and the teams traded four-spots in the seventh. Todd Tompkins' (West Haven, CT/West Haven) double and a Meehan single each drove in two before Lesley answered with four of its own. Plourd plated Cohen with a single to left, Gosnell scored Colon on a single to center, and Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck) came off the bench with a pinch-hit base knock to right that made the game 20-8, which would be the final.
Becker right-hander Jenkins improved to 5-1 on the season with the win, going five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and striking out 10.
Honored with Shaw in a pregame ceremony prior to their final game with the Lynx, senior first baseman Peter Plansky (Litchfield, NH/Campbell) went 1-for-5, singling in his final at-bat and pitching a scoreless ninth inning in relief work.
With the win, the Hawks secure the No. 2 seed for this week's NECC Tournament.