AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Lesley University split a doubleheader with the University of Minnesota-Morris this afternoon in day three of competition at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Lesley sophomore Bryan Hildebrand (Milford, Mass.) and senior Koby Mitchell (Fall River, Mass.) combined to pitch a shutout for the Lynx in a 4-0 game one victory while Minnesota-Morris salvaged a split with a 5-1 win in game two.
The Lynx will be off on Wednesday and open New England Collegiate Conference play on Thursday with a doubleheader against Becker College. First pitch is scheduled for 2:45p at Lake Myrtle Park 6.
Game One: Lesley 4, Minnesota-Morris 0
Making his first start of the 2016 campaign, Hildebrand kept the Cougars off balance scattering just three hits and one walk over 4 2/3 innings of work. Mitchell relieved Hildebrand to get the final out and shut down a UMM rally in the fifth before closing out the game with three strikeouts over 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) powered the Lesley offense, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish while having a hand in all of Lesley's runs with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.
Slaby opened the scoring in the top of the second as he led off with a single and advanced to third on an error on the play. Two batters later, Slaby crossed the plate as freshman Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) reached on the Cougars second error of the inning.
The third baseman would spark the offense again in the top half of the fourth with a one-out triple and then scoring on a sacrifice-fly by sophomore Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.). Slaby would cap the scoring for the Lynx in the fifth with a big two-out single to plate freshmen Matthew Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) and Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.).
Game Two: Minnesota-Morris 5, Lesley 1
Lesley received a great outing from freshman Colin Reed (Bedford, N.Y.) in his collegiate debut. The rookie southpaw went five innings, allowing four hits and one run while striking out five, but the Cougars used a four-run sixth to pull away and force a split on the day.
UMM freshmen Noah Grove (Morris, Minn.) was excellent on the bump for the Cougars, going the distance and recording six strikeouts while scattering four hits and one run.
After five scoreless innings, the Cougars loaded the bases with no outs in the top half of the sixth. The Lynx did not help themselves get out of the jam as two balks sandwiched a walk to bring in a pair of runs before junior Connor Spindler (Webster, S.D.) connected for a two-run double to give UMM a 4-0 lead.
After the Cougars added one more in the top half of the seventh, the Lynx would put their first two batters on base in the bottom and would scrape a run across on a fielder's choice by Cervantes, but that is all they would get as Grove used a fly ball to right to secure the Cougar victory.