BENNINGTON, Vt. — Lesley University split a New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader with Southern Vermont College this afternoon at Bill Epstein Field. The Lynx drop the opener 8-5 before clipping the Mountaineers 4-1 in game two.
LU tacked up a 3-0 lead after the top of the second in game one, only to see the Mountaineers answer with three in the home half of that inning and another three in the third. The Lynx cut it down to a one-run deficit with a pair in the fourth, but SVC was able to notch a lone run in both the fifth and sixth frames to finish off the tight victory.
Lesley once again scored twice in the first for a solid start in game two, clinging to that advantage through the fourth before adding a single score in the fifth. SVC got on the board with a solo homer in the sixth, but LU got it right back with one run in the seventh and then finished off the split.
The Lynx tie the program record for wins in a season as they improve to 14-15 overall and jump to 7-6 in conference play. The Mountaineers move to an even 14-14 on the season and 7-4 in NECC play. The two sides conclude the NECC series on Sunday back at The Bill, first pitch of the league rubber match set for 12 p.m.
GAME 1: Lesley 5, Southern Vermont 8
Mountaineer junior designated hitter Anthony Mercuri (Ridge, N.Y.) went 2-for-3 in the opener with two RBIs and a run scored while sophomore shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) was also 2-for-3, crossing the plate twice in the win. Sophomore third baseman Rob Spatafore (Mahopac, N.Y.) had a 2-for-3 showing with a run scored, and freshman catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.Y.) turned in a 2-for-4 performance at the dish.
SVC junior righty Joshua Hay (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) picked up his third win from the bump. The right-handed starter went five innings, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits and striking out a pair. Senior righty Chris Bradt (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) came out of the bullpen for the two-inning save, letting up just three hits and no runs in his appearance.
Lynx freshman designated hitter Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) set a career-high for hits as he was 4-for-4 in the effort with a run batted in while classmate Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) knocked in a pair of LU scores. Junior J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom, Mass.) went 2-for-3, scoring two runs and batting in another. Junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) and senior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) were both 1-for-2 with a double, Slaby adding a walk and a run scored to his line.
LU sophomore right-hander Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) was strapped with the loss (2-5), giving up four earned runs while striking out three with the start.
Lesley wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, with Pumphret singling to score senior shortstop Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela) from third with the first run of the day. Bavaro followed with a ball hit deep enough to right for freshman catcher Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) to tag up and cross the plate. The Lynx then added to their lead in the second, Ferragine sending a sacrifice fly of his own out to center for Agiorgousis to come home and make it 3-0.
That upper hand didn't last long as the Mountaineers came right back to tie it in the bottom of the frame. A wild pitch allowed Mercuri to cross with SVC's opening run, and sophomore Luigi Magliocca (Broadalbin, N.Y.) continued the sacrifice fly trend with a ball hit out center that made way for Spatafore to touch the dish. Another wild pitch with two outs then brought in the tying run.
Southern Vermont went on top in the third, scoring three times on five hits. The first came in on a third wild pitch before Mercuri notched a run-scoring single to left. Sophomore Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) sent a sacrifice fly out to right, allowing Arancio to tag and score with SVC's sixth run.
Lesley responded in the following box to trim the deficit, as Agiorgousis singed to center for Slaby to score from second after he had led-off with a double. Ferragine then grounded down to first, bringing his teammate in from third to make it a 6-5 ballgame.
The Mountaineers went down in order in the fourth before they got out of the top of the fifth with an inning-ending double play. Arancio cranked a triple to left, and he scored on the ensuing at bat as Mercuri singled to third.
Bradt got out of a second-and-third jam in the top of the sixth, and Southern Vermont got a piece of insurance in the home half when a throwing error on a chopper to the mound allowed freshman Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) to speed around the diamond from first. With the run scored, Stacey marked seven straight contests that he crossed the plate as he also extended his hitting streak to seven games in the win.
A double play in the top of the seventh erased a lead-off single, and a two-out base hit to left would be stranded as Bradt induced the final out to come via a grounder to third.
GAME 2: Lesley 4, Southern Vermont 1
Lesley freshman righty Nick DeGrenier (Marshfield, Mass.) picked up the complete-game victory from the mound, improving to 3-2 on the year while striking out two. Mountaineer sophomore right-handed starter Jean-Carlos Berasgoico (New York City, N.Y.) also went the full seven innings on the hill, striking out four in the loss (2-3).
Cervantes tallied a 3-for-3 performance at the plate with two runs scored while Pumphret was 2-for-3, knocking in all four runs for the Lynx. Slaby and Polidor were both 2-for-4 with a run scored while preventing the sweep.
Arancio went 2-for-3 in the day-cap while freshman designated hitter Cody Sullivan (Brunswick, N.Y.) was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the year. Mercuri had a 1-for-3 showing of his own, now having hit safely in 11 straight games and 14 of the last 15 Mountaineer contests.
Lesley started the game with back-to-back singles, turning those into a pair of scores when Pumphret slapped a two-run base knock down the line in right. Southern Vermont left the pond loaded in the second before LU stranded a pair of ducks in the third. Neither side could push its runners to home in the fourth as the game went to the fifth with the visitors holding tightly to their 2-0 edge.
The Lynx got a lone run to extend their lead, being aided by a hit-and-run play that saw Cervantes move all the way around to third on a single off of Slaby's bat through the right side. Pumphret followed with a shot out to center, giving Cervantes the opportunity to tag up and score to make it 3-0.
SVC ended DeGrenier's shutout bid in the sixth when Sullivan went the opposite way to clear the wall with a lead-off jack, but that would be all that Southern Vermont could scratch across as Lesley used an inning-ending double play turned by the middle infield to get back to the plate.
That's when LU notched its fourth run of the game, Pumphret ripping an RBI single through the left side to bring Cervantes in from third. Magliocca got on in the bottom of the seventh and stole second to get into scoring position, but he would be stranded there as a final ground out to the first baseman wrapped up the split decision.