NEW LONDON, Conn. – Appearing in their first-ever New England Collegiate Conference Championship Tournament, the third-seeded Lesley University baseball team staged a roaring comeback that fell just short in extra-innings to second-ranked Becker College this afternoon at Mitchell College. Each team came within one out of clinching victory before the other rallied to tie the score and extend the game. Becker went into the ninth with a 10-5 lead, but Lesley fought back with five runs—all with two outs—to stay alive. After the Lynx went up 12-10 in the 10th, the Hawks were down to their final out when Matt Consigli (Whitinsville, Mass./Northbridge) hit a two-run homer to tie it up once again.
Becker loaded the bases with one out in the 11th, and Lesley brought two outfielders into the infield to try and cut the winning run down at the plate. TJ Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J./Shore) then put a ball into play that was mishandled on the left side of the infield and allowed the winning run to score.
The home run by Consigli completed the cycle for the junior slugger, who went 4-for-4 on the day with five RBI and three runs scored. Consigli—who also singled in the third, tripled in the fifth and doubled in the eighth—becomes the first Becker player to ever hit for the cycle.
Lesley's Kevin Hopwood (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) also had a monster day at the plate, finishing 6-for-6 with three doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Ryan Genua (Prospect, Conn./Woodland) went 3-for-6 with two doubles and Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck) added two hits and drove in four.
The game went back and forth in the early innings. The Lynx took a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a two-run homer by David Hersey (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood), but the lead didn't last long as the Hawks struck for three in the home half of the frame.
Lesley tied the game at 3-3 in the third on an RBI double by Hopwood. The Lynx then went back on top with a run in the fifth when Robert Parson (Commack, N.Y./Commack) went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an errant throw.
Becker scored three in the fifth to pull ahead 6-4. Consigli delivered a two-run triple while Mike Marcello (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) added an RBI single. The Hawks then put up three more runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Chris Flanders (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) and a sacrifice fly by Consigli, and a solo homer by Randall Minogue (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) to lead off the seventh extended the lead to 10-4.
The Lynx pushed across a run in the eighth on an RBI single by Muratore but still trailed by five heading into the ninth. Lesley loaded the bases with only one out, but reliever Tony Cantalupo (De Pere, Wisc./West De Pere) came in and struck out the first batter he faced to bring the Lynx to their final out. However, Lesley strung together back-to-back singles to plate two runs before Muratore doubled to the fence in right to clear the bases and tie the game at 10-10.
Parson led off the Lesley 10th with a triple and scored on a single through the left side of the infield by Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass./Pioneer Valley). Plourd later added a sacrifice fly to score Blanchard from third to give the Lynx a 12-10 cushion.
Sempkowski doubled to lead off the Becker 11th and set the stage for Consigli's heroics. The blast over the left field fence was his second long ball of the season.
Becker's Jason Silbor (Uxbridge, Mass./Uxbridge) picked up the win in relief, going 2.0 innings while allowing two runs on four hits. Starter Nick Lemay (Oxford, Mass./Oxford) went 8.0 innings and yielded five runs (four earned) on nine hits and struck out eight.
Hopwood, who took the mound for the Lynx in the 12th, suffered the loss. Starting pitcher Ray Cohen (Coventry, Conn./Coventry) lasted 6.0 innings and gave up nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and struck out eight while walking six.
Game 1 – Mitchell 11, Elms 0
Starting pitcher Axel De Jesus (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) tossed a complete game shutout to lead Mitchell to victory. He scattered eight hits over 9.0 innings and stranded eight runners to improve to 3-2 on the season.
The top of the Mitchell lineup provided De Jesus with plenty of run support, as the one through four hitters accounted for seven hits and 11 RBI in the contest. Evan Peck (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) had a pair of doubles and knocked in four runs while Gavin LaLima (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) singled and tripled and drove in three.
The game was scoreless until a five-run fourth inning put the Mariners on top for good. With two outs and a runner on second base, Mitchell was patient at the plate as Elms starter Curtis LeBeau (Auburn, Mass./Auburn) had trouble finding the zone. He walked three straight batters to force home a run before hitting a batter to bring in another. After the Blazers handed the ball to Cody Lemieux (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) with the bags packed, Kenneth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn./Griswold) drew another walk and Peck followed with a two-run double to right field.
Mitchell added four more runs in the fifth thanks to two-run triple by LaLima, a sacrifice fly by Blaze Iannetti (Middlesex, N.J./Middlesex) and an RBI single from Marc Dorsi (West Haven, Conn./West Haven). The Mariners then tacked on two final runs in the eighth as Olszewski added an RBI triple and Peck grounded out to plate a run.
Sam Farnsworth (Westfield, Mass./Westfield), Geoff Frost (Ludlow, Mass./Ludlow) and Jordan Zima (Berlin, Conn./Berlin) all finished with two hits each to pace the Elms offense. LeBeau (1-5 overall) lasted 3.2 innings and yielded five runs on four hits and walked five. Lemieux worked 4.1 innings of relief and gave up six runs on seven hits.