WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Lesley University baseball team opened their 2016 campaign with a pair of setbacks to Mount St. Joseph University. The Lions used a late-inning comeback to top the Lynx in game one before their offense exploded in game two to complete the sweep. MSJ improves to 11-1 on the season while Lesley slips to 0-2.
The Lynx will get right back at it and look to get in the win column tomorrow with a doubleheader against Medaille College at 1:00p at Warner University. The two teams squared off for one game in both 2012 and 2013 during the Southern trip and have split the all-time series.
Game One: MSJ 8, Lesley 1
With Lesley holding a 1-0 lead in a pitcher's duel through the early innings, Mount St. Joseph erupted for an eight-run sixth inning and hold on for the 8-1 win.
After threatening with runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, the Lynx offense finally broke through in the fourth. Freshman Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) led off the inning with a single before moving to second on a wild pitch. After scooting over to third on a fly out to right field, the rookie backstop would score the game's first run on a single through the right side by classmate Nick Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.).
Lynx sophomore and reigning New England Collegiate Conference Rookie of the Year Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) was on cruise control in the early-goings, limiting the Lions to just two hits over the first five while recording a pair of strikeouts.
The Lions finally got to the right-hander in the sixth as a two-run home run from Matt Hoffman gave MSJ a 2-1 advantage. The MSJ offense would continue to rally and load the bases with two outs before Tyler Pasch would connect for a grand slam over the centerfield wall to open the game and extend the lead to 6-1. The Lions would add two more in the inning and hang on for the 8-1 victory.
Ferragine would finish 3-for-4 with a double while senior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.)also finished with three hits for the Lynx. Cervantes, classmate Vin Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.), and junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) also record hits.
Muratore was charged with six runs in his first start of the season before being relieved by sophomore Jeff Heinz (Portsmouth, N.H.) and freshman Dan O'Donnell Jr. (Clark, N.J.).
Austin Richey went four innings for the Lions, allowing one run and striking out five while Jacob Gunnell earned the win with a pair of scoreless frames and four strikeouts.
Game Two: Lesley 1, MSJ 17
Lesley would strike first once again, pushing a run across in the top of the first. Ferragine led off with a double to left field and would later score on a single to left-centerfield by sophomore Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.).
MSJ would immediately tie the game in the bottom of the frame and would put together an eight-run inning in the third to open a 9-1 edge. The Lions offense would remain locked in and score four more in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the sixth as they banged out 17 runs on 21 hits while capitalizing on four Lynx errors.
Wyatt Myers pitched the first five innings to earn the win for MSJ, scattering four hits and two walks to go with six strikeouts.