BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College dropped a pair of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) games at Bill Epstein Field Saturday afternoon as the hosting Mountaineers fell 6-5 and then 11-2 to Lesley University.
SVC (9-18, 6-11 NECC) and the Lynx (24-8, 13-4 NECC) are set to wrap up the series on Sunday with a 12 p.m. first pitch at The Bill; that will also serve as Southern Vermont's Senior Day with the Mountaineers honoring their five graduating members prior to the start.
GAME 1: Lesley 6 – Southern Vermont 5
Each team benefitted from a two-run homer in the first inning before Lesley broke the 2-2 tie with a pinch-hit, run-scoring single in the fourth. LU got a second pinch-hit RBI base knock from the seven hole in the sixth and then tacked up a pair in the top of the seventh.
SVC nearly completely a comeback in the home half of the final frame as the Mountaineers scored three runs before senior right fielder Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) was thrown out on a bang-bang play— trying to leg out a two-down, RBI single.
Southern Vermont senior shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) went 2-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Junior catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) was also 2-4 while notching a double and a run batted in.
Mountaineer senior righty Nick Hartman (East Hartland, Conn.) tossed all seven innings on the bump—striking out one in the loss (3-5). LU senior right-hander Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) stayed perfect from the hill as he improved to 9-0 with six strikeouts through the complete game.
Lynx junior designated hitter Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had a 3-3 showing from the batter's box with two RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Matt Bavaro (Sayville, N.Y.) and sophomore Matthew Warner (San Diego, Calif.) both went 1-1 with a pinch-hit RBI.
Pumphret launched a towering shot the opposite way with two outs in the top of the first, and the ball carried just enough to clear the fence and put Lesley on the board. Arancio did nearly the same in the bottom of the box with his shot going to right-center for his fourth dinger of the year and his second-straight game with a round tripper.
LU went back in front in the fourth when Bavaro came through with a big, two-out single to center for Pumphret to touch third and make his way for home. Warner doubled the visitors' lead in the sixth when he came off the bench with two down and dropped a double inside the left field line to make it a 6-2 ballgame.
A single and a sacrifice fly by LU doubled the lead once again and put the Mountaineers down by four going into their final at bat. SVC got a rally going and scratched three runs across the dish including one which was knocked in on Mason's two-out double to left-center. D'Agnese then rolled one on the ground in the ensuing trip to the plate and sprinted towards first while Mason rounded third and headed for home; the SVC senior would be thrown out by a hair, however, for the Lynx to escape with the win.
GAME 2: Lesley 11 – Southern Vermont 2
After Southern Vermont grabbed an early edge in the backend of the twin bill, Lesley answered with three in the second to go in front. The Lynx then notched runs in each of their final four at bats while holding the Mountaineer scoreless after the third to pull away and close out the sweep.
Arancio went 1-2 with his lone, infield single making him the 14th player in team history to register 100 career hits. He joined junior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) as the second Mountaineer to reach the milestone this year after Stacey cleared it last Sunday. Stacey had a great game two against Lesley—going 4-4 with a triple and two runs scored while making an outstanding, inning-ending catch in left-center with the bases loaded.
SVC freshman lefty Dylan Ramirez (Orlando, Fla.) was tagged with the loss (2-3) after striking out a pair in his five innings on the mound. LU senior right-hander Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) struck out five Mountaineers while allowing just two runs through six innings of the win (6-2).
Lesley junior catcher Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) went 3-5 with two RBIs and a run scored as junior shortstop Nicholas Ferragine (Randolph, N.J.) was 2-4 with two runs scored and another three batted in.
Stacey trotted home on a D'Agnese single up the middle in the bottom of the first, but that would be all SVC could get as the Lynx were aided by two outfield assists by senior center fielder J.P. Agiorgousis (Hanscom AFB, Mass.). LU came right back with three in the second as Warner tagged a sacrifice fly to center before Agiorgousis doubled down the left field line.
Southern Vermont got one back in the home half of the third when Stacey scampered in from third on a wild pitch, but that would be SVC's final run of the day. Pumphret notched a sac fly to left in the fifth before Warner roped a run-scoring double to the gap in left for a 6-2 lead.
LU posted a pair in the seventh but nearly scored more when Cervantes sent a two-out shot to left-center; a ball that looked to be extra bases off the bat was tracked well by Stacey through the soft footing, and the senior made a full-extension dive to snag it and get his team back in the dugout. The Mountaineers weren't able to work any seventh-inning magic, however, as Lesley finished off the sweep with the rain starting to fall.
– #LetsGoSVC –