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Baseball Edged by Johnson & Wales in Northern Opener

Baseball Edged by Johnson & Wales in Northern Opener

BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning snapped a 7-all tie and lifted the Johnson & Wales University baseball team to a 9-8 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in non-conference action Thursday night at Monan Park.

With the win the Wildcats improve to 9-5 on the season while the Leopards, playing for the first time since they were on their spring break trip 19 days ago, fall to 4-5.

Wentworth scored twice in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead on an RBI single from junior Andrew Elliott (Rockland, Mass.) and an RBI single from senior Tim Elrick (Plymouth, Mass.). Johnson & Wales made it 2-1 in the top of the second, scoring an unearned run as junior Aidan Hagarty (Weed, Calif.) walked and went to second on a junior Tim Lombardi (Providence, R.I.) walk. An errant throw moved Hagarty to third and he scored on a passed ball.

The Wildcats took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fourth, thanks to RBI singles from freshman Steve Rocchio (Cranston, R.I.) and senior Rob Ballinger (South Kingstown, R.I.) and a two-run double off the bat of sophomore Vin Amalifitano (Massapequa, N.Y.) The home half of the inning saw the hosts even the score at 5-all on an RBI fielder's choice from freshman Kyle Litwin (Jacksonville, Fla.) and a two-run triple from sophomore Owen Swanson (New Milford, Conn.).

Johnson & Wales regained the lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI groundout from Hagarty, however, Wentworth took a 7-6 lead with a two-run sixth as Swanson and French each had RBI singles. The top of the seventh saw the Wildcats tie the game at 7-all on an RBI groundout from senior Edison Mercado (Providence, R.I.)

With two outs and runners on first and second, sophomore Rich Boudreau (Pawtucket, R.I.) made an attempt at stealing third. An errant throw allowed him to take third and score to make it 8-7. Rocchio had swiped second on the play and was awarded home when the ball went into dead-ball territory, giving the visitors a 9-7 advantage. The home half of the inning saw a single from junior Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.), who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Cole Fritz (Peoria, Ariz.). Junior Anthony de la Cruz (Lynn, Mass.) moved Golebiewski to third and he scored on an RBI single from Swanson. After a strikeout, de la Cruz and Swanson each moved up a base on an error on a pickoff attempt and senior Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) was walked to load the bases. However, the Leopards were unable to get the tying run across as a strikeout ended the inning.

After Mercado was stranded at third after a one-out triple, the Leopards went down in order in the ninth to end the game.

Junior Josh Mossau (Woonsocket, R.I.) picked up the win in relief (1-1) for the Wildcats as he allowed one run on four hits and struck out three in 3.1 innings. Lombardi, sophomore Raimiel Rodriguez (Providence, R.I.), and Amalfitano each recorded two hits for Johnson & Wales.

Sophomore Ryan Obin (Plymouth, Mass.) took the loss (1-2), allowing a pair of unearned runs and striking out three in an inning of work. Swanson was 4-for-5 with four RBI while French, Weninger, and Elrick each had two hits as a part of a 15-hit attack.

Wentworth opens Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Saturday at Gordon.

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