Jake Bartlett '10 singled in the game-winning run in the ninth.
April 16, 2008
BABSON PARK, Mass. - Sophomore Jake Bartlett (Weymouth, Mass.) singled home the game-winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to lift host Babson College to a 7-6 victory over visiting UMass-Boston in a non-conference baseball game at Govoni Field on Wednesday afternoon. It was the eighth straight win for the Beavers (22-8) and their fourth walk-off victory of the season.
UMass-Boston (11-15) grabbed a 1-0 lead with an unearned run off junior starter Pete Bizinkauskas (Duxbury, Mass.) in the top of the first, as junior Ryan Oshima (La Jolla, Calif.) reached on an error, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by junior Casey Rice (Canadaigua, N.Y.). Things stayed that way until the bottom of the third, when Babson, which entered the day ranked fourth in New England by the NEIBA, plated a pair of unearned runs to jump in front, 2-1. First-year Corey Highfield (East Hampstead, N.H.) scored the first on a bases-loaded doubleplay grounder by senior co-captain Matt Delaney (Newton, Mass.), and rookie Sean Pucciarelli (Robbinsville, N.J.) scored the second on an RBI single to left by sophomore Dave Ahern (Bedford, Mass.).
The Beavers tacked on another run when senior Steve Tahmoush (Arlington, Mass.) came home on a sac fly to center by junior Bryan Evans (Bellaire, Texas) in the fifth, but UMass-Boston answered with three runs in the sixth. After an error and two walks loaded the bases with two outs, sophomore G.P. O'Kane (Easton, Mass.) blasted a three-run double to left, chasing Bizinkauskas and giving the Beacons a 4-3 advantage. The visitors nearly added to that lead moments later when junior Charlie Peters (Burbank, Calif.) ripped a line drive into the left-centerfield gap, but sophomore Peter O'Toole (Salem, Mass.) made a tremendous diving catch to end the inning.
Babson jumped back in front with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, beginning when Ahern was hit by a pitch with one out and Evans followed with a single to left to knock senior starter Mike Dorval (Belchertown, Mass.) out of the ballgame. Junior Jeff Wojnar (Bellaire, Texas) then greeted first-year reliever Mike Cain (Gloucester, Mass.) with a single to load the bases and Bartlett legged out an RBI-fielder's choice to plate Ahern with the tying run. O'Toole followed with a single to left, scoring Evans from third, and Bartlett later scored on the second wild pitch of the inning to give the hosts a 6-4 cushion.
Defensive miscues led to another UMass-Boston run in the top of the eighth, as first-year Timothy Fontaine (Worcester, Mass.) reached on a dropped fly ball and scored on a double to center by first-year Ryan Walsh (Newton, Mass.) that cut the visitor's deficit to one. Sophomore Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, N.H.) then tied the game again when he blasted a pinch-hit home run to left in the top of the ninth, evening the contest at 6-6.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ahern led off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second by senior Andrew Nodine (Portland, Maine). UMass-Boston then chose to intentionally walk Wojnar to get to Bartlett, who made the Beacons pay when his chopper up the middle hit took a huge bounce off the lip of the grass in front of the plate and rocketed toward shallow center. Shortstop Walsh made a valiant effort to knock the ball down and keep the winning run at third, but the ball ticked off his glove and caromed into right center as Ahern trotted home to clinch the 7-6 Babson victory.
The last of four Babson pitchers, junior Chris Legrow (North Andover, Mass.) picked up his first collegiate win (1-1) after tossing a scoreless inning of relief after Reinfurt's homer in the ninth chased first-year reliever Stephen Connolly (Quincy, Mass.). Bizinkauskas went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs - all of which were unearned - on four hits while striking out four. Junior Mark Donnellan (Walpole, Mass.) came on in the sixth and pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up another unearned run on one hit, and Connolly got the final two outs of the eighth.
O'Toole and Ahern each recorded two hits to pace the Beavers' offense, while Bartlett finished a solid defensive game at third base with six assists, including one on a fantastic backhand stop on a shot down the line by UMB first-year Nicholas Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass.) to start the seventh.
Dorval went 6 1/3 innings in the no-decision for the Beacons, giving up five runs - three earned - on six hits and striking out five. Cain (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season in relief, giving up two runs on four hits and fanning two in two innings out of the pen.