NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – Lesley University completed the three-game regular season sweep of Newbury College as the Lynx held off a late Nighthawks comeback for a 7-6 victory today in New England Collegiate Conference play at the New England Baseball Complex.
Lesley starter Nick DeGrenier (Marshfield, Mass.) was excellent while picking up his second win of the season. The freshman tossed 7 1/3 innings, yielding four hits and four runs and striking out two. DeGrenier kept the Newbury lineup at bay as he retired the Newbury side in order in five separate innings.
The Lynx offense wasted little time getting in gear as they posted four runs in the first inning. Freshman Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) followed consecutive singles by classmates Matthew Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) and Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) with a single of his own to bring home Bavaro for the game's first run. Later in the inning, the Lynx loaded the bases with two outs before senior Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) singled home Cervantes and sophomore Justin Clark (Chino Hills, Calif.) also came around on the play, taking advantage of an error in the Newbury infield. Senior Gustavo Polidor (Caracas, Venezuela) capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single to centerfield to give the Lynx a 4-0 lead.
The Nighthawks would threaten in the bottom of the third as they loaded the bases with just one out. DeGrenier got out of the jam with a 5-4-3 double play started by third baseman Mike Slaby (Foxboro, Mass.), who made several outstanding plays in the field for the Lynx on the day.
Both offenses would go into stalemate until the Lynx added three key runs in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.), Bavaro, and Cervantes started the rally with three straight singles before Pumphret knocked in a pair of runs with a single to left. Lesley would add the third run of the inning by taking advantage of an error in the Newbury infield to stake a 7-0 advantage.
The Nighthawks would not go down quietly, however, and loaded the bases in the eighth before sophomore Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) knocked DeGrenier out of the game with a two-run single to center. After the pitching change, Newbury senior Ryan Zahornasky (Shelton, Conn.) made it a two-run game when he blasted a three-run home run over the wall in right to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Newbury would continue to battle back in the ninth as junior C.J. Ingraham (Georgetown, Mass.) led off the inning with a walk before the Lynx turned to sophomore Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) – who earned the win in game one of yesterday's doubleheader – in relief. Newbury freshman David Center (Medford, Mass.) welcomed Muratore with a double to right before to put a pair of Nighthawk runners in scoring position.
Muratore settled down and forced a pair of ground balls, one that struck Center at second base for the first out of the inning, before Cesarin Baez-Lara (Brighton, Mass.) knocked in Ingraham with a fielder's choice to pull the Nighthawks within one, 7-6. After Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) worked a walk to put the go-ahead run on first, Muratore closed out the game with a strikeout to notch the first save of his season.
Bavaro paced the Lynx offense, knocking a career high three hits with two runs scored while Pumphret went 2-for-4 for a career-best three RBI. Cervantes went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored while Blanchard also finished with a pair of hits to go with a walk and one RBI.
Center finished 2-for-4 with a run scored while Zahornasky went 1-for-3 with three RBI to lead the Nighthawks.
Lesley will return to the diamond on Monday when they battle Gordon College in a non-conference doubleheader back at the New England Baseball Complex at 6:30p. Newbury will travel to play Lasell College on Tuesday at 7:00p on the campus of Brandeis University.