NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team wrapped up its New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) series against Newbury College with a 17-8 win at the New England Baseball Complex Friday afternoon.
The Mountaineers went on top first and used a four-run fourth to go in front 7-2. SVC then notched six in the bottom of the fifth before answering Newbury's four-spot in the seventh with one of its own to maintain the distance and keep the Nighthawks from sweeping the Conference series.
SVC (9-17, 6-9 NECC) is back at home for the rest of the weekend as the Mountaineers host Lesley University for their final league series; the first two of that three-game set are scheduled to be played on Saturday start time slated for 1 p.m. With Southern Vermont currently sitting just a half game back from the fourth-and-final spot in the playoffs, those three games will be crucial to the Mountaineers' postseason hopes.
Southern Vermont senior shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) hit for the cycle as he went 4-5 with a walk, four runs scored, and three RBIs. Junior third baseman Ryan Cullam (Guilderland, N.Y.) was 3-6 with three runs scored and one more batted in while junior catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) had a 2-4 showing at the dish with three RBIs.
With the win from the hill, Mountaineer junior righty Joe Braim (Saratoga, N.Y.) improves to 4-2 on the year; that ties him with five former SVC pitchers for the second-most in a single season, and it gives him seven career victories to be tied at fourth on that all-time list. He struck out four Nighthawks on Friday.
Arancio got the hardest extra-base hit out of the way in the home half of the first as he raked a triple to the opposite gap for Cullam to score the opening run of the game. Arancio then launched a solo homer—his third of the year and seventh career dinger—in the third to make it a 3-0 tally.
Newbury came back with a two-run shot in the fourth, but SVC answered with four of its own in the ensuing box to garner some separation. Even when Arancio wasn't swinging the bat, he was knocking in runs as he worked a walk with the bases loaded before Mason ripped an RBI single through the right side to help put the Mountaineers on top 7-2.
NC would get another two in the fifth—only to see Southern Vermont respond with six in its turn at the plate. With the bases juiced, junior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) tagged a three-run triple to right-center; Cullam and sophomore left fielder Nate Hickey (Bristol, Conn.) each added RBI singles during the inning as SVC pushed it to a 13-4 advantage.
The runs for both sides kept coming as Newbury pulled within five in the top half of the seventh. Southern Vermont quickly got those runs back, however, as the Mountaineers scored four runs of their own with just three hits in the bottom of the frame; SVC utilized a sacrifice fly from freshman second baseman Will Iannacone (Winchendon, Mass.) before the Mountaineers took advantage of two Nighthawk miscues.
Southern Vermont junior right-hander Monte Hogue (Phoenix, Ariz.) then made his way to the mound and did a stellar job in wrapping up the win. He allowed only one hit and one walk in his two innings of work as the Mountaineers took home the victory.
– #LetsGoSVC –