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Baseball Edged in Season Opener

Baseball Edged in Season Opener

MALDEN, Mass. – Emerson College's Steven Cameron drove in the winning run with a double to left center in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Lions defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology, 9-8, in the season opener for both squads played at Malden Catholic High School.

The meeting between the Leopards and Lions was the first-ever and Wentworth played in the month of February for the first time since the 1992 season.

With two outs in the opening frame, Wentworth jumped ahead with a 2-0 lead thanks to a single to left center from the bat of senior Sam McManus (Hopkinton, N.H.) which allowed both senior Greg Confessore (West Hartford, Conn.) and junior Christian Ferri (Bloomfield, N.J.) to cross home plate.

Through the next two innings, the Leopards tacked on three more runs to take a 5-0 lead over Emerson. The Wentworth pitching staff was lights out through five, allowing the Lions' offense to just one hit. In the top of the third, second baseman Kyle Becker's failed pickoff attempt allowed Ferri to plate for the second time. Emerson threatened with two outs in the bottom half of the third as Neil Perry singled and later advanced to third on a ground out by Mitch Moormann, but Jim Cain flied out to end the inning. With the bases loaded and one out in the top half of the fourth, Ferri walked to drive in junior Jimmy Temte (Northborough, Mass.), followed by a sacrifice fly from freshman Matt Smith (Horseheads, N.Y.) to plate Ryan.

However, the Lions batted to a four-run inning that allowed them to pull within one of the Leopards in the fourth. With two outs, Cameron walked and reached second on a throwing error on a wild pitch, thus allowing Clint Fontanella to advance to third and Pablo Feldman to score. The following play consisted of Cameron moving up to third on a wild pitch and Fontanella crossing home for the second run of the inning for Emerson. The next two Lions' runs came from Perry and Cameron as CJ Rodgers reached first on a throwing error.

Both teams failed to get a run across for the following three innings. However, it was Wentworth who took the 6-4 lead on a single from Temte snuck through the left side which allowed junior Jordan Burst (Jackson, N.J.) to score.

Emerson retaliated in its half of the seventh and tacked on three more runs that pushed them to the 7-6 lead. Perry and Rogers got the Lions' offense going with a single and double with no outs to begin the inning. Cain registered an infield single to first that allowed Perry to score and moved the runners to second and third. Rodgers scored on a one out Feldman walk with Connor Damiano sending a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Moormann to plate.

A triple to left center by Temte and single by freshman Jake Smith (Orange, Conn.) allowed Wentworth to regain the 8-7 lead over Emerson, but the Lions tacked on the equalizer with a single from Feldman that sent the game into extra innings.

With one out and runners on first and second for Emerson, Cameron was the hero for the Lions. He rocketed a double to left center to score Becker.

Sophomore Tim Elrick (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) and senior Johnny Ryan (Brant Rock, Mass.) each went 3-for-6 for the Leopards. Sophomore Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) took the loss (0-1) for Wentworth as he allowed two runs (one earned) and punched out three batters. Junior Aaron Denis (Dover, N.H.) started the game and struck out five of the six batters he faced over two innings.

Ethan Young (1-0) pitched two innings for Emerson and earned the win. He allowed two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.