Baseball Clipped 6-5, 12-5 at SUNY Maritime in Season-opening Doubleheader

nick guajardo follows through on a swing after hitting the ball

YAPHANK, N.Y. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team began its 2019 regular season Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven with a non-conference doubleheader against SUNY Maritime. The Privateers walked off with a 6-5 victory in the opener before topping SVC 12-5 in the second matchup.

The Mountaineers (0-2) are back in action next weekend with a four-game series against Kalamazoo College; the first two of those tilts, to be played at Georgetown College in Kentucky, will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

GAME 1: Maritime 6 – Southern Vermont 5
The first game of the year for both teams had a good deal of offense as there was at least one run scored in each inning. After SVC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, Maritime came back to go on top 4-2 by the end of the fourth. Southern Vermont made the most of its final at bat and tied it at 5-5 in the top of the seventh, but the Privateers were able to walk off with the win as a solo homer to left closed the book.

SVC senior first baseman Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) had an outstanding first performance as a Mountaineer as he went 3-3 with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs, and an intentional walk. Senior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) and junior designated hitter Nick Santoro (Syracuse, N.Y.) were both 2-4 at the dish.

Southern Vermont senior right-hander Joe Braim (Saratoga, N.Y.) was touched with the loss (0-1) as he gave up the winning run after 2.1 innings of relief. He and junior lefty Ryan Richardson (Pasadena, Md.) each tallied three strikeouts for SVC. Richardson went four innings with the start—giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits and a pair of walks.

With one on and two outs in the top of the first, Serrato lifted a pitch the opposite way and sent it soaring over the fence in left. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Maritime took advantage of SVC miscues and scored three times through the next two innings.

In the top of the fifth, Serrato knocked Stacey in again when he launched a ball to deep center. The Privateers got it right back, however, when a sacrifice fly made it a 5-3 upper hand for the hosts. Southern Vermont junior left fielder Brandon Lara-Mack (San Gabriel, Calif.) then stepped up made a great play on both sides of the ball to span a pair of innings.

To end the fifth, Lara-Mack went sprinting to his right after a fly ball headed into foul ground; reaching out, he reeled it in while somersaulting over the fence. The Mountaineer then led off the sixth with a blast to center—the team's second homer of the day making it a 5-4 ballgame.

Stacey came around to score one more time as he provided the tying run in the top of the seventh. He started the box by doubling down the line in right, and a sacrifice bunt moved the senior up 90 feet. Sophomore shortstop Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) then came to the plate and roped a double into the left-center gap.

Serrato was subsequently given a free pass to first, and a hit batter then loaded the bases for SVC. Maritime worked out of it, however, with back-to-back strikeouts getting the hosts back in the dugout.

The first Maritime batter in the bottom of the seventh went down looking, but the next would allow the Privateers to storm the plate and welcome in their game-winning hero.

GAME 2: Maritime 12 – Southern Vermont 5
Southern Vermont took control early on in game two, but the Privateers came back to eventually go on top 5-4 by the end of the fourth. Maritime then tacked up six runs in the fifth for a comfortable advantage which would be carried through the final out.

Mountaineer junior third baseman Cody Sullivan (Brunswick, N.Y.) registered a grand slam in the first inning while Serrato and sophomore catcher Jason Marcello (Daytona Beach, Fla.) each had a pair of hits in the effort.

SVC junior righty Kyle Liddy (Oriskany, N.Y.) went the first four innings of the loss (0-1)—striking out four while giving up five runs.

Southern Vermont wasted little time in taking a quality lead in the back end of the twin bill. Two walks and a single between the first and second baseman loaded the pond, and Sullivan powered up to clear them all with a shot out to right.

Maritime got one back in the home half of the first before adding two more in the third. The hosts continued to change the scoreboard and crossed the dish twice in the fifth—utilizing a double steal with Privateers at the corners to pull ahead. Maritime tallied six insurance runs in the next frame for some breathing room, and the Privateers touched the plate once more in the sixth after Stacey tagged a run-scoring double in the top of the inning.