Baseball’s Home Opener Spoiled by 12-9, 11-5 Losses to Becker

Baseball’s Home Opener Spoiled by 12-9, 11-5 Losses to Becker

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College was swept in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball doubleheader against Becker College Saturday as the Mountaineers fell 12-9 and then 11-5 during the first two games of the year at Bill Epstein Field.

Southern Vermont (6-14-1, 1-7 NECC) hits the road Sunday for its next two contests as the Mountaineers visit New England College for a 12 p.m. league doubleheader.

GAME 1: Becker 12 – Southern Vermont 9
The two sides traded solo scores with Becker leading 2-1 after the fourth. Southern Vermont went on top with seven runs in the fifth, and the Mountaineers then led 9-5 going into the last inning. The Hawks would rally for seven runs of their own to pull ahead, however, and they kept SVC from mounting a comeback in the bottom of the box for the win.

Six Mountaineers registered hits during the effort, but none of them were able to tally more than one. Senior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) and senior designated hitter Cody Sullivan (Brunswick, N.Y.) were both 1-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored while senior first baseman Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) was 1-2 with a pair of walks, two runs scored, and another run batted in.

Southern Vermont senior righty Joe Braim (Saratoga, N.Y.) was tagged with the loss (2-4) as he let up the go-ahead run in the seventh.

After Becker crossed once in the first, SVC got it back in the third when Sullivan sent a sacrifice fly out to center. The Hawks went back on top in the fourth with a bases-loaded walk—only to see the Mountaineers spring ahead in the fifth; Southern Vermont used a pair of RBI-hits and a double steal with runners at the corners to go on top 7-2.

The visitors cut it to a two-run deficit in the sixth, but Stacey then worked a walk in the home half of the frame to make it a 9-5 ballgame. Becker would take the momentum in the seventh, however, and recorded five run-scoring hits—two being doubles—to climb on top and stake a three-run lead. SVC would only strand one runner aboard in the home half of the inning as the Hawks took the opener.

GAME 2: Becker 11 – Southern Vermont 5
After a scoreless three innings in game two, Becker put up a crooked eight-spot for a lead it would not relinquish. SVC answered with four runs in the bottom of the box, but three-more Hawk scores in the sixth gave the visitors a steady upper hand.

Mountaineer sophomore shortstop Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) went 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI while Serrato was 2-4 with a run scored.

Braim started on the hill and took his second loss (2-5) of the day for SVC after throwing three innings.

Neither side could cross the dish through the first three frames, but Becker then got on the board in the fourth with eight runs on five hits, two walks, and a hit-by-pitch. Southern Vermont cut its deficit in half in the home half of the inning with juniors Nick Santoro (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Brandon Lara-Mack (San Gabriel, Calif.) stroking a run-scoring double and triple, respectively.

After Becker scored three times in the sixth, SVC attempted to make a comeback in the seventh by working runners aboard. The Mountaineers were only able to bring Stacey home on a Guajardo single to left, however, as the Hawks finished off the sweep.