NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Lesley University swept a New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader in a pair of pitching duels over Newbury College this afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.
Lynx freshman Daniel O'Donnell Jr. (Clark, N.J.) cracked a pinch-hit, solo home run to break a scoreless tie in extra-innings while sophomore Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) twirled a gem with a complete-game shutout to give the Lynx a 2-0 victory in game one. Fellow sophomore Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) followed Muratore with a fantastic outing of his own, going the distance allowing just one run to lead the Lynx to a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.
The Lynx improve to 5-8 overall and 2-3 in the NECC with the pair of victories while the Nighthawks drop to 8-10 on the season and 0-5 in the conference standings. Lesley will aim to sweep the season-series as the teams will wrap up the three-game set back at the NECB tomorrow at 1:00p.
Game One: Lesley 2, Newbury 0 (Final – 8 Innings)
Muratore was locked in and only got stronger as the game went on, holding the Nighthawks hitless over the final four innings. The 2015 NECC Rookie of the Year allowed just three hits and only a pair of Newbury runners to reach second base while striking out five. The righty faced just four batters over the minimum.
Newbury senior Craig Barnett (Melbourne, Australia) nearly matched Muratore's effort as he went all eight innings, yielding just three hits, two runs (one earned), five walks, while striking out five.
Neither side could muster up any threats at the offensive side of the plate until O'Donnell and Lynx finally pushed a pair across in the eighth. The rookie came off the bench eighth with the first home run of his career to give the Lynx a 1-0 lead. His blast gave the Lynx some momentum as freshman Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) followed by reaching on an error before classmate Matt Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) singled to put two on with one out. Ferragine and Bavaro would both move into scoring position on a wild pitch before rookie Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) gave Lesley an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right. After a walk loaded the bases, Barnett would settle down and limit the damage to just two runs and escape the jam by forcing a ground out.
That would be all Muratore would need as he closed out the Nighthawks with a 1-2-3 eighth to secure his first win of the season.
Game Two: Lesley 2, Newbury 1
Iadevaio kept the Nighthawks off-balance once again in the nightcap, scattering seven hits and two walks while registering seven strikeouts to notch his first victory of 2016.
Newbury junior Ethan Forrest (East Bridgewater, Mass.) gave the Nighthawks a strong outing of his own, limiting the Lynx to just four hits, two walks, and striking out nine in the loss.
The Nighthawks would strike first and give Forrest an early lead when senior Ryan Zahornasky (Shelton, Conn.) singled home junior Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) to stake a 1-0 advantage.
The lead did not last for long as the Lynx answered in the top of the fourth. Cervantes led off the inning with a single before junior Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.) walked and O'Donnell loaded the bases by reaching on an error. Cervantes would come in on for the game's tying run on a fielder's choice off the bat of senior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) while Slaby, who continued to hustle around the bases, also scored on the play to give Lesley a 2-1 lead.
The Nighthawks would threaten with a two-out rally in the fifth as Zahornasky and Barnett put runners on the corner with back-to-back singles, but Iadevaio would escape the jam with a fly-out to keep Newbury scoreless. The sophomore right hander would not allow a hit the rest of the way to secure the double-dip sweep for the Lynx.