AUBURNDALE, FL – Wentworth Institute (4-2) defeated Saint Joseph’s (3-4), 11-10, in a single nine-inning contest on Thursday morning. Ian Lee ’11 (Hampden, ME) was 4-6 with a pair of runs scored and Eric LaBatte ’11 (Rochester, ME) belted his first home run of the year, a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh, and was 2-4 in the losing effort.
The two New England Region teams recorded 18 hits apiece and combined to strand 25 runners in the contest, which was threatened by heavy rain on several occasions in the early innings. St. Joe’s, which has suffered all four of its losses by just one run, trailed 8-3 after the Leopards plated four in the top of the fifth, but chipped away with at least a run in each of the Monks’ final five trips to the plate. Wentworth tallied the eventual game-winning run in the top of the ninth with a leadoff double followed by a run-scoring single, as the Monks’ final rally effort fell just short with the tying run standing on second base.
Matt Mullen ’11 (Rockland, MA), who was making the second start of his career for the Monks, allowed six hits and three earned runs with three K’s in two innings. Sean Drake ’13 (Lebanon, NH) gave up a hit and an earned run over 1 1/3 innings and was hit with the loss. Chris Dion ’11 (Lawrence, MA), Chris Nanof ’10 (Clinton, MA) and Adam Stanclift ’13 (Chesterfield, NH) combined to allow 11 hits and six earned runs with nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of relief.
Leopards starter Mo Gardner ’10 (Chagrin Falls, OH) earned the victory and allowed 11 hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts in five innings. Chris Sandini ’10 (Upton, MA) allowed six hits and four earned runs with five K’s in three innings of relief and Scott Borges ’10 (Westport, MA) held on to register his second save of the year with two punch outs and an earned run allowed in the ninth. Wentworth has now recorded four straight victories.
The Monks put up a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the first, as Lee, Ben Grant-Roy ’10 (Biddeford, ME), Todd Keneborus ’11 (Hollis Center, ME/Cheverus) and Mike Pratt ’13 (Dartmouth, MA), who registered a pair of RBI, connected for four consecutive sharply-hit singles to lift the Royal Blue to a 2-0 advantage.
Wentworth answered with a run in the second and two in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but a sacrifice fly by Pratt in the bottom of the third tied the game at three apiece. The Leopards regained the one-run edge an inning later, as Matt Jordan ’11 (Concord, NH) plated Mike Diodato ’11 (Asbury, NJ) with a single to left off Dion, who had just entered the game in relief of Drake.
The Monks deficit grew in the fifth, as the Leopards tacked on a four-spot off three hits and a pair of wild pitches. Diodato notched a two-run triple to deep left-center for Wentworth during the frame.
Moran drove home a run with a single in the fifth and Grant-Roy drove home LaBatte in the sixth to cut the Wentworth lead in half. The Leopards managed to minimize the damage, however, as the Monks left the bases loaded in both frames.
Both teams scored a pair of runs in the seventh, as Conner Flisnik ’11 (Marcy, NY) and Doug Papuga ’11 (Branford, CT) belted RBI doubles for the Leopards and LaBatte turned around on a Sandini offering for his two-run blast.
In the Monks’ half of the eighth inning, Pratt plated a run on a groundout to short and Moran belted a run-scoring double to deep center to make it a 10-9 game. The Leopards responded with a leadoff double by Flisnik, who scored when Papuga singled down the right field line, adding an important insurance run.
With two out and Campbell on second base in the bottom of the ninth, Grant-Roy capped an excellent at bat with a double down the right field line to make it a one-run contest. With the tying run 180 feet away, Keneborus took an outside fastball for a called third strike to end the game.
Overall, six SJC player recorded multiple-hit efforts, as Moran (3-5, two RBI), Grant-Roy (3-5, two RBI), Keneborus (2-5) and Campbell (2-4) joined Lee and LaBatte in the hit parade. Also, Pratt registered four RBI for Saint Joseph’s.
For Wentworth, Papuga and Ben Danker ’11 (Branford, CT) recorded four hits apiece and Diodato scored four runs.
St. Joe's will face off against William Paterson in a single nine-inning contest on Friday at 9:00 AM.
Wentworth 11, St. Joseph's (Me.) 10 (Mar 11, 2010 at Auburndale,
Wentworth........... 012 140 201 - 11 18 2 (4-2)
St. Joseph's (Me.).. 201 011 221 - 10 18 3 (3-4)
Pitchers: Wentworth - Mo Gardner; Chris Sandini(6); Scott Borges(9) and Pete Oggeri.
St. Joseph's (Me.) - Matt Mullen; Sean Drake(3); Chris Dion(4); Chris Nanof(5);
Adam Stanclift(7) and Travis Adams.
Win-Mo Gardner(1-0) Save-Scott Borges(2) Loss-Sean Drake(0-1) T-3:41 A-0
HR SJMBB - Eric LaBatte (1).
Weather: Cloudy and windy.
Mullen faced 3 batters in the 3rd.