WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A late comeback effort from Lesley University fell short as the Lynx were delivered an 11-9 setback at the hands of Becker College today at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Fla. The loss is the fourth in a row for the Lynx as they slide to 3-6 on the season and 0-3 in New England Collegiate Conference play while the Hawks, who earned a season-series sweep with the win, improve to 9-5 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
After a pair of pitcher's duels yesterday, today's matchup was an offensive affair as the teams combined from 20 runs and 30 hits.
The Hawks opened the game with three runs in the top of the first inning, capped by a two-run double off the bat of junior Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.).
Lesley answered back in the bottom of the second when sophomore Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.) and freshman Vin Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.) knocked consecutive RBI singles to cut the Becker lead to 3-2.
The Lynx would even the game at 3-3 in the third with an RBI single by senior Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela) that allowed freshman Matt Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) to cross the dish.
Five of the first six batters to come to the plate for the Hawks in the sixth before Bedell cleared the bases with a three-run home run to cap a five-run inning as Becker opened the game up with an 8-3 lead. The Hawks offense would not slow down in the sixth, adding a trio of runs in the innings to stake an 11-3 edge.
Lesley would continue to battle and come back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 11-7. A Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) walk followed by singles by Clark and Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) loaded the bases before Gage Reycroft (Ft. Meyers, Fla.) drew a walk to bring in the first run of the inning. After a Becker pitching change, Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) brought home Cervantes with a fielder's choice and, one batter later, Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) knocked in Clark as he reached on an error in the Hawks outfield. Lesley would cap the scoring in the inning when Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) brought in Reycroft with a fielder's choice.
After Ferragine knocked in his second run of the game in the seventh, Cervantes plated Polidor with a single in the eighth to pull within two, 11-9. Ferragine and Slaby would both single in the ninth to put the tying run on base, but Hawks reliever Tyler Wagar (Uxbridge, Mass.) escaped the jam holding the Lynx scoreless in the ninth.
Ferragine, Bavaro, Polidor, Cervantes, and Clark all recorded two hits for the Lynx. Sophomore Jeff Heinz (Portsmouth, N.H.) made his fifth straight scoreless appearance out of the bullpen, recording all three outs after entering with a pair of runners on base.
The Lynx will wrap up their 2016 RussMatt Invitational back at Chain of Lakes Park tomorrow morning at 9:30a with a matchup against Westfield State.