AUBURN, Mass.—The Anna Maria College baseball team split with the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University on Saturday afternoon, claiming a 2-0 win in the opener and falling 3-2 in extra-innings in the nightcap.
Anna Maria wraps up the season at 9-27 and 5-9 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action with today's results, while Johnson & Wales looks to enter the GNAC postseason with a 23-14 overall record and a 7-7 record in league play.
Anna Maria finishes with their best GNAC record since the 2013 season when they finished 7-9.
GAME ONE – ANNA MARIA 2, JOHNSON & WALES 0
Sophomore pitcher Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass.) threw a complete-game shutout to lead Anna Maria to their first shutout victory of the season, scattering seven hits, three walks and four strikeouts over the seven-inning game.
On the other side of the plate, Jakola helped himself with a two-out RBI sacrifice-fly that scored Camden Brown (Gardner, Mass.) for the second run of the day.
Anna Maria opened the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back strikeouts, but senior Matthew Leahey (Rutland, Mass.) cranked a ground-rule double to right-center to get things going. Following a walk by Jonathan Roy (Worcester, Mass.), Joseph Fahey (Auburn, Mass.) singled to left field to score Leahey.
Johnson & Wales best chance to interrupt the shutout came in the top of the fourth when they loaded the bases with one out, but Jakola fanned the number-eight for the second out and pitched Tom Elkow into a fly-out to right field to get out of the inning unharmed.
Johnson & Wales also stranded baserunners in the fifth and seventh innings. In their last at-bat, Lou Umberto singled to the shortstop with two outs. The next batter, designated-hitter Brad McParlin hit a ground-rule double to right-center to move Umberto to third. The inning ended with a pop-up to second base to protect the shutout.
Anna Maria totaled six hits in the victory. Sophomore Nate Gray (Kingston, Mass.) finished 2-for-3.
Umberto led JWU with a 2-for-4 effort from the number-two slot in the lineup. Five other players tallied hits to combine for seven Wildcat hits.
Lane Compton took the loss on the mound for Johnson & Wales, scattering six hits, three walks and nine strikeouts over the complete game.
GAME TWO - JOHNSON & WALES 3, ANNA MARIA 2 (EIGHT INNINGS)
Johnson & Wales came out strong in game two, as the Wildcats plated runs in both the first and second innings for an early 2-0 lead.
Anna Maria settled down from there, holding their guests scoreless over the next five innings.
Jakola scored for Anna Maria in the bottom of the fourth on a one-out wild pitch. Nick Feola (North Providence, R.I.) and Gray moved to second and third on the pitch, respectively, but both were stranded as the inning ended on a foul-tip and a groundout.
In the bottom of the sixth, Feola walked with one out, but Matt Elliot (Attleboro, Mass.) grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, James Marcello (Mansfield, Mass.) reached on an error by the Wildcats' first baseman. He would move to third on an intentional walk and a hits batter, and then scored to tie the score at 2-2 on an RBI walk for Jakola. That forced JWU to change pitchers, and new pitcher Nick Cesino forced Gray into a pop-up to end the inning.
In extra innings, JWU opened the eighth with a lead-off single by Rob Ballinger. He moved to second on a sacrifice-bunt by Umberto, and scored from second as clean-up batter Carlos Sanabria singled to right field.
Umberto was the AMCATS' kryptonite in the bottom of the eighth, as he made back-to-back stellar plays at shortstop to retire Feola and Elliot. Trevor Brown (Gardner, Mass.) singled to the pitcher and advanced to second on an overthrow to first, but he was stranded as the game ended on a strikeout.
Cesino earned the victory in 1.1 innings of relief. Leahey pitched a complete game for Anna Maria, scattering six hits, three runs, four walks and two strikeouts over the eight-inning affair.
Marcello, Jakola and Trevor Brown all finished with two hits each.
Johnson & Wales saw two hits from Ballinger. Catcher Ty Karalis hit a second-inning solo homerun for the Wildcats' second run of the game.
It marks the first time the AMCATS have posted a win against JWU since joining the GNAC in 2012.