WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Lesley University baseball team dropped their 2014 opener 7-4 as they opened up play at the RussMatt Invitational this afternoon with a nine-inning game with New England regional opponent Curry College at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Fla. The Colonels received 5 1/3 innings from starter Thomas Fitzpatrick (South Boston, Mass.) who picked up his first win of the season. Curry improves to 1-3 on the season while Lesley opens up the season at 0-1.
Curry wasted little time to get on the board as junior Kyle Connors (Stoughton, Mass.) blasted a one-out triple before coming home on a fielder's choice by classmate Matt Warren (Wilbraham, Mass.) to take a 1-0 lead in the first.
The Lynx would erase the deficit and grab a 2-1 edge in the third frame as junior outfielder Robert Parson (Commack, N.Y.) knocked in Adam Ciampi (Westford, Mass.) and Ryan McQuade (Rochester, N.H.), who both reached with consecutive singles.
The Colonels took advantage of some sloppy defense by the Lynx in a three-run fifth inning as they reclaimed the lead, 4-2. Lesley committed three errors in the bottom half of the inning, allowing Connors, Derek Pizarro (Cambridge, Mass.), and John Ahrens (Milton, Mass.) to all cross the plate.
Curry added two more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh inning and would not trail again on their way to the 7-4 victory.
Parson led the Lesley offense, going 2-for-5 on the day with a pair of RBI while freshman Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) also knocked in a run with a ground out in the eighth. McQuade finished 2-for-3 with a run score and Ciampi scored a pair of runs with a 1-for-4 effort at the plate. Playing in his hometown, senior Kevin Hopwood (Winter Haven, Fla.) went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored.
Lynx starter Ray Cohen (Coventry, Conn.) went 4 1/3 innings in his first outing of the season, yielding just two hits and one earned run while striking out two. The lefty retired nine consecutive batters between the second and fourth innings. Senior Ryan Genua (Prospect, Conn.) provided 3 2/3 innings of relief allowing two earned runs while striking out four.
Lesley will return to Chain of Lakes Park tomorrow when they square off with Medaille College at 9:30a. The Lynx topped the Mavericks 8-6 last year at the RussMatt Invite.