CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Lesley University baseball team battled Eastern Nazarene College to a 9-9 tie after 11 innings. Senior third baseman Mike Slaby (Foxborough, Mass.) went four-for-six with a double and an RBI from the top of the Lynx batting order.
Slaby opened the bottom of the first inning with an infield single. Three batters later junior centerfielder J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom AFB, Mass.) brought him home ripping a two-out base-hit back where it came from to give the Lynx the 1-0 advantage.
It was a back-and-forth battle through the first two innings. The Lions answered scoring twice in the top of the second to take the one-run, 2-1, lead before the Lynx responded in the home half to tie the game at two. However, Eastern Nazarene appeared to swing momentum over to their dugout against Lesley southpaw Colin Reed (Bedford, N.Y.), who came on in relief of first year starter Steven DePalma (Albertson, N.Y.) in the third. The Lions scored once in the top of the third and again in the fourth to go in front 4-2.
Trailing by two runs midway through the game it appeared as if everything was going Eastern Nazarene's way. But the winds shifted yet again. In the bottom of the fifth the Lynx took advantage of three Lions errors to put up a crooked number four and take the 6-4 lead.
Reed, who was originally on the hook for the loss, was now in prime position to pick up his second victory of the season. The New York native settled down tossing 3.1 innings of solid relief allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out two before turning the ball over to sophomore Daniel O'Donnell Jr. (Clark N.J.) in the top of the sixth.
The Lions clawed their way back scoring once in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to one-run but the Lynx answered. Lesley got the run right back in the bottom of the frame to go back on top by two, 7-5, before scoring once in the seventh and an eighth to take the 9-5.
Lesley was in good position to pick up their 16th victory of the season heading into the top of the ninth. Returning to the hill for his second inning of relief, Agiorgousis gave up a lead-off single to senior pinch-hitter Nick Story (Gilbert, Ariz.) but retired sophomore John Greenlee (San Marcos, Calif.) on strikes for the first out. However a walk by centerfielder Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) and a single by Steven Pesce (Harrison, N.Y.) loaded the bases to bring up the heart of the Lions order.
The Lynx exchanged a run for an out when sophomore second baseman Andrew Santora (Middle Village, N.Y.) flew out to left for the second out but in the backdoor came Story for the sixth Lions run. Moments later the game grew tighter when first year third baseman Devin Haberstump (Forest Hills, N.Y.) roped a two-RBI double into rightfield to cut the Lynx lead to one-run, 9-8.
Representing the tying run sophomore James Coury (Milford, Conn.) pinch-ran for Haberstump. Sophomore shortstop Matthew Urena (Flushing, N.Y.) hit slow ground-ball between first and second, Lynx sophomore second baseman Vincent Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.) was unable to make a play. Coury got on his horse and came around to tie the game a nine.
In his second full inning of relief junior Alex Way (Syracuse, N.Y.) struck out the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. But Lynx junior right-hander Jeff Heinz (Portsmouth, N.H.) matched him setting the Lions down in order by way of the strikeout.
The tie drops Lesley to 15-11-1 while Eastern Nazarene moves to 10-14-1. The Lynx return to the diamond this weekend for a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader against Mitchell College at 12:00 p.m.