WINTER HAVEN, Fla – Entering today, the RussMatt Invitational has been full of exciting baseball for Lesley University as the Lynx have played four games that have been decided by two runs or less, two of which were settled in extra innings. Today was no different as the Lynx found themselves playing extra frames in both games as they dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Keene State College.
The Owls walked off with a 6-5 decision in eight innings in game one before securing a 12-8 victory in eight innings in game two of the afternoon.
The Lynx have one game remaining on their southern trip as they will square off with NCAA Division II program St. Michaels College at 9:00a at Lake Myrtle Park.
Game One: Lesley 5, Keene State 6 – (Final – 8 innings)
The Lynx got on the board first as senior Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) singled and moved into scoring position on a passed ball before coming in a double by sophomore Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) in the top of the fourth inning.
The Owls wasted little time in tying it up as they answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth.
Lesley sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning on their way to three runs as they pulled ahead 4-1. Junior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) delivered a two-run single for the Lynx and added a stolen base and a run in the inning.
The Owls would not go away, however, as they used a three run inning in the bottom of the sixth inning to knot the game at 4-4.
The Lynx managed to plate a run in the top half of the eighth inning when Slaby came in on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of senior Adam Ciampi (Westford, Mass.).
One run was not enough, however, as the Owls scored two in the home half of the inning to walk off with the victory.
Junior Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela) and Muratore led the Lynx with as they each recorded a pair of hits and a run scored. Blanchard finished 1-for-4 with two RBI.
Senior Tyler Plourd (Canton, Conn.) became the second Lynx player of the week – and in program history - to join the "100 Hit Club" after he connected for a single in the fourth inning. Fellow senior Rob Parson (Commack, N.Y.) accomplished the feat in Lesley's season opening 12-4 win over Bard College.
Game Two: Keene State 12, Lesley 8 (Final – 8 Innings)
The Lynx trailed 8-6 heading into the last half of the final inning, but would not quit as they scored a pair of runs to send the game into extra innings for the second game of the day. Lesley loaded the bases with one out on single by senior John Gosnell (Toronto, Ont.) sandwiched between two walks drawn by Plourd and freshman Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.).
Plourd scored the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by Parson before Ciampi drove in the game's tying run with a single.
The Owls took advantage of five free passes in the top of the eighth inning and combined them with three singles to score four runs in the extra frame as they held on for the 12-8 win and swept the doubleheader.