AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Lesley University opened up New England Collegiate Conference play with a pair of losses to Becker College this afternoon at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Fla. The Hawks came back to top the Lynx 6-4 in game one before taking game two of the doubleheader 4-2.
The two teams will square off in the third and final game of the series tomorrow morning at Chain of Lakes Park. First pitch is scheduled for 9:30a.
Game One: Lesley 4, Becker 6
Becker erased an early 2-0 Lesley lead and withstood a late Lynx push in the late innings for the win.
The Lynx opened the scoring in the top of the first as freshman Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) led off the game with a double and later came around on a one-single back through the box from senior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.).
Ferragine powered the offense once again as Lesley posted another run in the top half of the second. Fellow freshman Vin Taliercio (Valley Stream, N.Y.) reached on an error in the Hawks outfield before Ferragine connected for his second double in as many innings to bring home Taliercio and extend the Lynx lead to 2-0.
Becker would take advantage of a pair of Lesley miscues to even the score at 2-2 in the third. After a leadoff walk to start the inning, freshman Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass.) reached on an error in the Lynx infield before sophomore Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) laced an RBI single to left to cut the deficit in half. One batter later, Ventres would score on a fielder's choice off the bat of Daniel Diaz (Teaneck, N.J.).
The Hawks would gain some separation with a trio of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ventres ignited the rally with a one-out single and came around on a double to right-center by junior Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.). A wild pitch and a walk put Hawks runners on the corners before Diaz picked up his second RBI of the game with a single through the right side. Sophomore Christopher Testa (Providence, R.I.) knocked in the third run of the inning with a sacrifice-fly as the Hawks jumped ahead 5-2.
The Lynx would not go down quietly and picked up a run in the top of the sixth when freshman Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) drew a one-out walk, moved into scoring position on a single by classmate Daniel O'Donnell Jr. (Clark, N.J.), and then scored on consecutive wild pitches to pull Lesley within two, 5-3.
The Hawks would counter with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead back to three.
Lesley continued to battle in the seventh and a sacrifice-fly by junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) plated senior Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela), but that would be all the offense would scratch away as Becker's Jorge Grullon (Worcester, Mass.) came into the shut the door and earn the save.
Game Two: Lesley 2, Becker 4
The second game of the day was a pitcher's duel through the early innings as both starters kept the offenses scoreless over the first three innings.
The Hawks took a one run lead in the fourth when Testa connected for a one-out double and scored one a single down the left field line by junior TJ Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.).
The Lynx would punch right back with a run in the next half inning as Polidor's single up the middle scored Ferragine who reached on a single of his own before advancing to second on an error on the play.
The back-and-forth would continue as Becker plated three runs in the fifth to stake a 4-1 advantage.
The Lynx attempted to mount a comeback in the seventh as freshman Matt Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) drove a one-out triple to right-center and would cross the plate on Ferragine's third single of the game. Becker starter Tyler Wagar (Uxbridge, Mass.) would escape the jam and end the game with a ground out and strikeout to earn the win.
Wagar improved to a perfect 3-0 on the season with the complete game effort while yielding seven hits, two runs (one earned), and striking out four.
Sophomore Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) suffered the loss for the Lynx, tossing 4 2/3 innings and surrendering three runs (one earned) one five hits and five strikeouts.