FORT MYERS, Fla. – Two strong starting pitching performances by the winning teams saw the Southern Vermont College baseball squad split a doubleheader with Lasell College during the Gene Cusic Classic on Friday at Terry Park. The Mountaineers took the first game 6-4, and the Lasers brought home the win with a 6-1 Game 2 victory.
The Mountaineers move to 4-6 on the 2013 campaign, and Lasell is now 3-6 on the season.
Game 1 –SVC 6, Lasell 4
After the Mountaineer were retired in order in the top of the first in Game 1, Lasell put a runner on but then lined into a double play as SVC sophomore shortstop Chris Nicastro (Cranford, N.J.) took away a Laser base hit and threw over to first to get the retreating runner.
Southern Vermont came out in the second and put up a pair with the help of a lead-off base knock by senior first baseman Corey Armstrong (Bennington, Vt.) past first and into right. Sophomore designated hitter Cody LaBadia (Howes Caves, N.Y.) followed with a roped double to left center that put Armstrong on his horse to round the bases and put up the game's first run. After LaBadia advanced to third with a Nicastro shot off the pitcher's mitt, he scored when freshman third baseman Quinten Scott (Ashaway, R.I.) grounded out to second to put the Mountaineers ahead 2-0.
Mountaineer freshman starting left-hander Erik Johansen (Rosendale, N.Y.) began well on the hill, only allowing two hits through his first two innings of work. The Lasers had a single in the first and then a left field line-trimming double by junior designated hitter Bobby Ellard (Medfield, Mass.) in the second.
Southern Vermont came back with three more in the top of the third as the SVC heart of the order came through again. The first two Mountaineer hitters reached by getting hit and moved up a base on a Lasell passed ball. They then came around in to score with a base hit by Armstrong to put SVC on top 4-0. The Mountaineers tacked on the third run when LaBadia hit a double over the left fielder to allow Armstrong to score with ease from second.
Johansen came out in the bottom of the frame and sat down the Lasers in order, including two consecutive grounders to freshman second baseman RJ Pingitore (Amsterdam, N.Y.).
Southern Vermont started getting things going early in the fourth with a Scott single up the middle and walk to senior catcher Corey D. Briggs (Wood River, R.I.). The Lasers stalled the SVC momentum as a botched sacrifice bunt attempt left both Mountaineer runners on second, and Scott was promptly retired as Lasell threw across the diamond to get him trying to advance to third with D. Briggs in a momentary run-down.
The Lasers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth with Ellard starting the inning by singling one to the left field gap.
The top of the sixth saw SVC increase its lead as Nicastro got on via a Lasell error and then move to third on a hit-and-run by senior right fielder Dave Northup (Richmond, R.I.). Northup's hit found its way through the right side when the Laser second baseman moved to the bag as Nicastro took off on the pitch. Scott soared one to center for a sacrifice that allowed Nicastro to tag and score, making it 6-1 after five and a half.
Southern Vermont's southpaw continued to work well through the sixth, helping himself out by picking off a Laser runner at first and then getting help from his defense. With a Lasell runner on second, Laser senior third baseman Bobby Stachura (Middletown, Conn.) knocked one out to right, and Northup scooped it up and shot home to get junior first baseman Billy Uberti (Newton, Mass.) trying to score to end the inning.
After the Mountaineers were retired in the top of the seventh, Johansen went back out to wrap up the complete game. The Lasers worked them loaded with two outs, and lead-off hitter and junior second baseman Dustin Brown (Falmouth, Mass.) tagged one to the left field warning track to bring in all the Lasell runners. That would end Johansen's outing as senior closer Joel DeFedele (North Kingstown, R.I.) came in and threw one pitch to record the save.
Johansen picked up his first collegiate win (1-1) as DeFedele recorded his second save of the season. Lasell sophomore right-hander Kevin Post is credited with the loss (0-2).
Armstrong went 3-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored, and LaBadia was 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Scott also had two RBIs on his 1-2 day. Johansen finished his 6.2 innings with four earned runs given up on 10 hits and one walk; he struck out one batter on the day.
Ellard was 2-3 in the game with two runs scored, and sophomore right fielder Matt Sammarco (New Canaan, Conn.) went 1-3 with a run batted in and run scored. Brown finished 1-4 with three RBIs. Post gave up four earned runs on six hits and two walks, striking out four Mountaineer hitters. Junior reliever Eric Howard (Newton, Mass.) surrendered just one run, unearned, on three hits in his three innings of work, fanning three SVC hitters.
Game 2 – Lasell 6, SVC 1
The Lasers threatened to have a big top of the first inning against Northup who started on the hill, loading the bases with only one out. Northup was able to work out of the jam, however, ringing up one Lasell batter and getting the second to ground out to Pingitore.
Southern Vermont took to the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second when the hot Armstrong continued to hit and ripped a single down past the third base bag. After two consecutive Mountaineer outs, Armstrong moved up to second and then again to third on wild pitches. A Scott walk brought up D. Briggs who hit a straight-away single allowing Armstrong to jog in to home and give SVC the 1-0 advantage.
Northup and starting Laser right-hander Matti Doxter (Somersworth, N.H.) worked well through the next two, giving up one and no hits, respectively.
The Lasers put an end to that and tied it up in the top of the fifth with a lead-off walk to sophomore catcher Evan Mozingo (Brookfield, Conn.) and ensuing double by Uberti to put runners on second and third. A chopper to third and error by Scott allowed Mozingo to cross the dish safely. Lasell then took the lead with a squeeze play that saw Uberti score. LC added insurance when Stachura scored on a hit by junior shortstop Corey Michel (Rochester, N.H.), and two more came in with a single to left by sophomore right fielder Jackson Gervais (Rehoboth, Mass.) to put the Lasers ahead 5-1.
Lasell would add another in the next inning with an Uberti shot over the right field fence to lead things off. That would be all though, as Mountaineer relief was able to retire the side despite letting a couple of Laser runners on.
Doxter continued to throw lights out, giving up just one walk from the third through the seventh inning, which was erased with a double play ball in the bottom of the fourth. He grabbed his first win of the season (1-1) and the complete game, allowing only the one run on three hits through the seven innings of work. He struck out four on the day while only giving up two walks.
Northup takes the loss (0-1) for the Mountaineers.
D. Briggs finished 1-3 with the RBI, and Armstrong was 1-2 with the run scored.
Uberti was 3-5 in the game with two runs scored and another batted in, and Stachura went 3-4 with an RBI and run. Gervais finished 2-4 with two runs batted in.
The Mountaineers return back to the Northeast for a 3:30 p.m. Tuesday game at Gordon College and then play their home-opener Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Norwich University. Lasell continues its spring trip in Ft. Myers on Friday at 9 a.m. against Otterbein University.