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Lions Post Big Eighth Inning to Top Baseball, 10-4

Lions Post Big Eighth Inning to Top Baseball, 10-4

NORTHBOROUGH, Mass.—The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team posted a five-run eighth inning to break open a 2-2 tie en route to a 10-4 win over the AMCATS of Anna Maria College on Wednesday afternoon.

The win boosts Eastern Nazarene to 8-6 overall, while Anna Maria falls to 2-14.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Anna Maria senior pitcher Matthew Leahey (Rutland, Mass.) was dominant for Anna Maria on the mound as he faced the minimum through the first three innings.

Meanwhile, the AMCATS scored single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. In the first inning, Joseph Fahey (Auburn, Mass.) walked, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass.).

An inning later, the AMCATS took a 2-0 led in similar fashion, as Nick Feola (North Providence, R.I.) walked, advanced to second on a groundout by Camden Brown (Gardner, Mass.) and scored on an infield single by Fahey.

Anna Maria held the shutout until the top of the fifth when the Lions were granted back-to-back free bases as Brandon Wynne was hit by a pitch and John Greenlee walked. A wild pitch moved both runners up, setting up Kurt Picarelli for a sacrifice-fly to centerfield.

Anna Maria stranded two on base in the bottom of the fifth, allowing Eastern Nazarene the chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh as Wynne scored for the second time, this time on a two-out single to right field by Joe Commesso.

Leahey was pulled in the top of the eighth and Eastern Nazarene capitalized, opening the inning with a ground-rule double to left field by Zach Zaino. Altogether, the Lions would connect for five hits to plate five runs while stranding one to take a 7-2 lead. 

Anna Maria was able to plate two runs in the bottom of the eighth as Jonathan Roy (Worcester, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to open the inning. He advanced to third on a ground-rule double by Nate Gray (Kingston, N.Y.) and scored on a long ball to centerfield by Elliot. Roy attempted to score as well but was thrown out at home, allowing Elliot to move up to second. Elliot took third on a single by Feola, and scored on a fielder's choice by Brown.

Trailing by three entering the final inning, the AMCATS chances to rally grew thinner as Wynne hit a three-run home run to put the Lions into double-digits. Lead-off batter Fahey walked in the bottom of the ninth but he would be the AMCATS only baserunner.

AMCAT LEADERS

Leahey pitched a two-hitter through seven innings and faced the minimum number of batters through the first three innings. He gave up two runs and three walks while striking out four in his best outing of 2016.

At the plate, he batted 2-for-5 with a double. Jakola also finished with two hits, batting 2-for-4 with an RBI. Gray tallied a double on the day, while Elliot legged out a triple.

EASTERN NAZARENE LEADERS

The Lions played 24 different players in the nine-inning affair. Jose Arebalo batted 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs. He was the only Lion to tally multiple hits; seven other players finished with one. Wynne plated a game-high three RBI.

Tyler Brown pitched five innings, scattering six hits and two runs while walking four and striking out three. He was relieved by Rob Dukes, who earned the win in 1.2 innings of work. He walked one and struck out one while giving up two hits. The Lions threw five more pitchers over the final 3.1 innings.

FINAL COMPARISONS

The AMCATS finished with 10 hits to Eastern Nazarene's nine. The Lions made the only error of the day, a dropped ball in centerfield in the bottom of the eighth.

WHAT'S NEXT

The AMCATS break for the Easter holiday and resume play next Wednesday, March 30th, in a 3:00 p.m. game at Daniel Webster. Eastern Nazarene hosts UMaine-Presque Isle on Friday at 3:30 p.m.