Bennington, VT- The Southern Vermont College Mountaineers baseball team honored six seniors Sunday afternoon at Epstein Field in honor of the six members playing their final home game. The seniors consisted of Ben Naaktgeboren, Keith Diotte, Tim Johnson, and the trio of captains Dan Cook, Dave Gage, and Adam Northup. The six were also playing to avoid the game from being their final collegiate game ever; as SVC needed a win against conference leading Mitchell College to make the NECC playoffs.
The seniors led the way on Sunday to clinch their third straight post-season appearance with a 4-2 victory. The three consecutive appearances is the first time ever in SVC baseball history. Johnson got the start for the Mountaineers and was magnificent throughout. The senior hurler pitched six innings and one run on five hits. Johnson only walked one and struck out three Mariners.
In the bottom of the first inning, Gage got the Mountaineers rolling when he walked moved to third on an error and came home on a RBI ground out from Pat Warrington. The Mountaineers added another run later in the first when Corey Armstrong belted a singled to right field and Warrington scampered home.
In the second the seniors kept the Mountaineers going when Cook reached first on a hit by pitch. Cook later scored in the inning giving the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead. Adam Northup made sure to be noted in the senior day as well when he hit a two out blooper to left field scoring Armstrong make the score 4-1.
Senior day wasn't complete though without some dramatics. In the ninth the Mariners loaded the bases and pushed a run across before Coach Schaffer made the move to go with the senior closer Gage. Gage quickly induced a pop up for the second out and got a deep fly ball to end the game; and put SVC into the NECC playoffs. The save was the 10th of Gage's career.
The Mountaineers will travel on Friday to take on Mitchell College in the opening round of the playoffs. The tournament will be a double elimination tournament with the winner advancing to the NCAA tournament