FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team played its final two games in Florida Thursday with the Mountaineers being edged 9-8 and then 9-7 by Gallaudet University at the Lee County Player Development Complex.
SVC's comeback fell short in the opener with the tying run being left at third in the bottom of the seventh, and GU then overtook the Mountaineers throughout game two en route to the sweep.
Southern Vermont (3-6-1) is scheduled to next play a three-game weekend series at Wells College with the first two starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
GAME 1: Gallaudet 9 – Southern Vermont 8
The Bison took advantage of early SVC mishaps and put up eight runs through the first three innings; they were also aggressive on the base paths—converting on seven of their 10 steal attempts during the contest. The Mountaineers chipped away at their deficit and made it an 8-6 game going to the seventh, but that's when Gallaudet used a squeeze play to bring home what proved to be the winning score.
After loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Southern Vermont brought two home and got the tying run to third; he would be stranded there, however, as GU closed the book.
Mountaineer senior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) went 3-4 with four RBI's and a run scored while sophomore infielder Zac Cronk (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was 2-2 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.
SVC senior righty Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) made his first appearance of the year on the hill—taking the loss (0-1) after giving up seven runs on just three hits and a walk; he also plunked three batters while striking out two in his 2.1 innings of work.
Gallaudet scored four runs in the top of the first with a sacrifice fly, an RBI-single, a balk, and an SVC error. The Bison added four more in the third to stake an 8-0 upper hand.
Stacey put SVC on the board in the bottom of the third as he launched his sixth career home run well over the 330-foot marker in left field. Sullivan then followed with a solo blast of his own in the fourth to make it an 8-4 tally, and Cronk brought home another with a single up the middle.
After a Stacey single through the left side plated one in the sixth to make it a two-run margin, Gallaudet turned a triple into a run with a well-executed squeeze—one which proved to be the difference maker. Southern Vermont then filled the pond with ducks in the bottom of the seventh and no outs. A wild pitch scored the lead runner before a double play brought in one more and put the tying run at third; a final strikeout, however, put it away for the Bison.
GAME 2: Gallaudet 9 – Southern Vermont 7
The Mountaineers jumped out to a 5-1 lead by the end of their second at bat, but Gallaudet came back to tie it up with five in the bottom of the second. The lead went back-and-forth over the next few innings with the Bison going ahead 9-7 after the fourth. Neither team could cross the dish the rest of the way for GU to complete the sweep.
Stacey finished a solid day at the plate with a 2-3 performance in the box—hitting another homer in addition to working a walk and scoring three total runs. Serrato moved to first base and turned in a 3-4 showing at the plate with two RBI's and a run scored while sophomore Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) was 2-4 with the stick.
SVC junior right-hander Nick Gambardella (Hollywood, Fla.) threw the fourth inning and was strapped with the loss (0-2) after giving up the go-ahead run.
Serrato singled through the infield to score the first two runs of the game, and a balk then allowed him to come in from third. With the bases loaded, junior designated hitter Ryan Richardson (Pasadena, Md.) took a pitch to the back for SVC to go in front 4-0. Stacey would send his second homer of the year over the fence in left once again in the top of the second to pad the Mountaineers' cushion.
The 5-0 lead would be short lived, however, as GU connected to score five runs on five hits in the bottom of the box—three of those going for extra bases. The Bison then pulled ahead in the third with a run-scoring single to right-center.
With runners at second and third in the fourth, Southern Vermont junior Kyle Liddy (Oriskany, N.Y.) put a ball high in the air and right towards the sun; it would land in shallow center field for him to leg out a double while two runs came around to score.
Once again, Gallaudet had a response as the Bison scored three times in the home half of the inning. Just like game one, a squeeze play resulted in what proved to be the winning run. SVC would strand three runners over the next three frames as the Mountaineers' couldn't capitalize to make a comeback.
– #LetsGoSVC –