Auburndale, Fla. – Cairn University senior centerfielder Jeremy McAlack (Newtown, Pa.) got on base four times from the leadoff spot, going 2-for-3 with two walks, and came around to score twice to lead the Highlanders to a 6-5 victory this afternoon at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Florida. The win was the first of the season for Cairn, who improves to 1-8, while Lesley, who picked up a win over Medaille College earlier in the morning, fall to 2-4.
McAlack got the offense rolling in the bottom of the first when he led off with a walk, stole second, and crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Cairn added three more in the bottom of the third when McAlack and senior Chad Hollinger (Leola, Pa.) came around when junior Austin Arseneau (Maple Grove, Minn.) blasted a triple in the right-centerfield gap.
Lesley answered with two of their own in the top half of the fourth when a Ryan McQuade (Rochester, N.H.) slapped a two-out single up the middle, allowing Ray Cohen (Coventry, Conn.) and Patrick Melo (Somerville, Mass.) to score.
After the Highlanders scored two more in the sixth to give them a 6-2 advantage, the Lynx were able to cut it to within one in the top half of the seventh. Sophomore Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) led off the inning with a walk while McQuade followed him with a single to center. Sophomore Robert Parson (Commack, N.Y.) knocked in the first run of the inning with a single to center while junior Tyler Plourd (Canton, Conn.) followed with a double, allowing two more runs to cross the plate. It appeared as if the Lynx were going to tie it up when junior Kevin Hopwood (Winter Haven, Fla.) hit a hard liner to the right side, but Cairn second baseman Eric Hodges (Newport News, Va.) made a great stab to his right to rob the first baseman a hit and potential game-tying RBI.
Highlander senior Dean Diernbach (Fountainville, Pa.) shut the door on Lesley, pitching 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the save.
Cairn starter Michael DeLuca (Newburgh, N.Y.) pitched six-plus innings, allowing four earned and striking out four to earn his first win of the season.
Lesley will wrap up their spring break trip with a game against Sewanee (Tenn.) at 9:30a tomorrow in Auburndale, Fla.