NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College and Lesley University opened the 2018 New England Collegiate Conference Baseball Championship with wins on Friday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Lesley held off a ninth-inning threat from third-seeded Elms College to secure a 6-5 victory. The Lynx trailed until a three-run fifth inning—highlighted by home runs by Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills)—gave them the lead for good. Reliever Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck)got into trouble in the ninth but cleaned up his own mess to record his first save of the season.
The NECC Baseball Championship continues on Saturday, May 5 with three games. Becker and Elms will face off in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m. while Mitchell and Lesley will meet in the winner’s bracket at 12:30 p.m. The third game of the day is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start
Game 2: Lesley 6, Elms 5
- Box Score: http://mitchellathletics.com/
- Neither team scored in first three innings of the contest. Lesley appeared to jump on top in the third courtesy of a sacrifice fly, but Elms threw to the third-base bag for an appeal, and the umpire ruled that the runner left early and took the run off the board.
- With the game still scoreless, the Blazers struck for three runs in the fourth. Nathan Ayala (Springfield, Mass./Chicopee) and Andy Vasquez (Queens, N.Y./The Knox School)supplied back-to-back RBI singles in the rally while Ben Ross (Thompson, Conn./Woodstock Academy) beat out a comebacker to the mound to put the Blazers up 3-0.
- The Lynx answered back in the home half of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs and scoring runs on a ground ball by Vincent Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y./Chaminade) and a walk to J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom AFB, Mass./Bedford). Elms starter Thomas Owens (Enfield, Conn./Suffield) did his best to limit the damage and escaped the inning with a one-run lead intact.
- The ball started jumping off the bats in the fifth. Thomas Slane (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) hit his first collegiate homer to lead off the frame, extending the Elms lead to 4-2. Ferragine responded with a leadoff, opposite-field blast in the home half to jump start the Lynx. Three batters later, Clark cleared the right-field fence with a two-run shot to give Lesley its first lead of the day at 5-4
- A one-out double by Agiorgousis led to another Lesley run in the sixth. He moved to third on a single by Matt Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) and scored on a ground ball by Ferragine.
- Lesley reliever Daniel O’Donnell Jr. (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) didn’t allow a hit in the seventh and eighth innings before turning the ball over Muratore for the ninth. Elms ramped up the drama by loading the bases with no outs and pulled within one on an RBI single by Alex Hoss (Stafford Springs, Conn./Stafford). Muratore then settled down and got a ground ball to third for a force out at home, followed by a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
- Lesley starter Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y./Mineola) pitched 6.0 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out four in the victory. He improved to 7-2 on the season.
- Owens (3-4 overall) surrendered six runs on eight hits and fanned five.