Bennington, VT- Senior captain Dave Gage set the NCAA mark for hit by pitches in a career Thursday afternoon, as the Southern Vermont College Mountaineers baseball team split a NECC conference double header with Newbury College. The Mountaineers won game one by the score of 4-3 in extra innings and the Nighthawks won game two 12-5 in a shortened game. Gage was hit four times on the afternoon boosting his total to 76 HBP in his career.
"It's my way of helping the team" said Gage "Some people go out and hit home runs, I do what I need to in order to get on base."
In game one SVC pounded out 14 hits, 10 coming in the first three innings, but the Nighthawks pitchers held them to four runs. Gage and Dave Northup led the attack with three hits apiece. Pat Warrington, Dan Cook, and Corey Armstrong each added two hits in game one.
In the ninth Warrington reached on an error and Ian Valentine walked setting up a sacrifice bunt to move them to second and third. Pinch hitter Andrew Morin was walked bringing Dave Northup's hot bat to the plate. Northup screamed a 1-2 pitch down the left field line scoring Warrington and giving the Mountaineers the victory.
Pat Curry had three hits for Newbury and Michael Dean added two hits of his own. The Nighthawks rallied from three down to score two in the sixth and one in the seventh to push the game into extras.
SVC starter Connor Murray pitched seven innings and allowed 0 earned runs. Murray scattered six hits and struck out four before handing the ball off to reliever Joel DeFedele. DeFedele earned his third win on the season allowing only one hit in his two innings of work.
Nighthawks start Christopher Ninteau threw three innings and allowed ten hits. Ninteau limited the Mountaineers damage however only allowing two runs. Shawn Marcelle gave the Nighthawks five solid innings of relief allowing one run. Travis Wade earned his third loss (1-3) surrendering the final run.
In game two Newbury got off to a quick start scoring five runs in the first inning off SVC starter Ben Naaktgeboren. Matthew Clawson, Russell DeMatties, and Dean all doubled in the first to get the Nighthawks on the board.
SVC tried to surmount a comeback but each time the Nighthawks answered with runs of their own the next half inning.
Dean led Newbury with three hits in game two, and Clawson, Alex Chetelat, Joey Herer, and Daniel Kovner picked up two hits each. On the Mountaineers side Corey Briggs was the only one who had a multi-hit game.
Gage tied the record in the third and broke it in the sixth, giving him three hit by pitches in game two. The four hit by pitches on the afternoon gives him 26 in the 2011 campaign seven away from the NCAA single season mark.
Naaktgeboren fell to 1-2 with the loss in game two. He pitched two and two thirds innings and allowed six runs on five hits. Naaktgeboren walked one, hit two, and struck out two, before being lifted for freshman southpaw Kurt Kowalczyk. Kowalczyk pitched and allowed 0 earned runs on three hits.
Jorge Pimental earned his first victory surrendering eight hits on five runs. Marcelle finished the final inning and a third striking out two SVC hitters.
Each team continues NECC play as the Mountaineers travel to Lesley for a Friday night game and a Saturday double header, and Newbury will take on Daniel Webster this weekend. SVC is now 8-17, 2-6 in NECC play as Newbury is 14-12, 5-5 in the NECC.