Nelson and Robinson Provide Late-Inning Spark
FLEMINGTON, N.J. – Late-inning heroics, including a game-tying triple from Luke Robinson and a game-winning single by Patrick Nelson gave Lafayette a 9-8 win over Rider on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference baseball action.
Lafayette trailed 8-6 entering the bottom of the seventh. Mark Glover’s lead-off triple, one of the team’s three triples in the game, put the pressure on Rider’s bullpen. An error by the Rider (4-4) shortstop allowed Glover to score and cut the deficit to 8-7.
In the eighth, Michael Dunn came on in relief for the Leopards. He gave up a lead-off walk, but found his rhythm, retiring the next three batters.
In the home half, John Marti finished up a 2-for-2 day at the plate, hit by a pitch to get the inning started. Robinson’s one-out triple tied the game and Nelson’s infield knock scored Robinson for the go-ahead run.
Dunn continued his solid outing to close out the game in the ninth. After surrendering a lead-off single, he struck out the next batter and then the defense and shortstop Justin Rouse rolled by a 6-6-3 double play to end the game. It was Dunn’s first career victory, allowing one hit over two innings with a pair of strikeouts. Dunn’s stint followed a scoreless seventh by Kyle Johnson.
It was a back-and-forth game from the get-go at Diamond Nation. The Leopards put two runs on the board in the first. Marti and Steven Cohen (3-for-4) led off the game with singles before Robinson managed an RBI-groundout for the first run of the game. Nelson smashed a double the other way to score Marti for the 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the third, Jake Bender and Jake Barbieri combined to drive in three runs for the Broncs’ first lead of the game.
The top of the order continued to produce its second time through the order. In the bottom of the third, Cohen’s lead-off single preceded Marti’s run-scoring shot off the wall in right centerfield. Lafayette knotted the game at 3-3.
The teams traded runs in the fourth and the score was tied at 4-4. Rider scored two in the fifth and two more in the sixth, aided in both innings by a Lafayette error, to lead 8-4.
The Leopards kept the game within reach in the sixth. Cohen led off with a triple and later scored on Spencer Rouse’s fielder’s choice. Rouse scored on an error to pull within 8-6 an set the stage for the late-inning comeback.
Lafayette (2-5) returns to action this weekend, playing a four-game series at Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday and Sunday.