Big Inning Sinks Baseball at La Salle
March 2, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - The Lafayette baseball team overcame a four-run deficit to tie host La Salle, 5-5, through seven innings on Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia. However, the Explorers benefited from seven runs - six of them unearned - in the bottom of the eighth en route to a 12-5 win. Sophomore Scott Kelleher batted 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Leopards.
With the loss, Lafayette falls to 0-4 on the season. La Salle improves to 4-2 in victory. The Leopards were originally slated to host today's game, but poor weather throughout the winter made the turf at La Salle's Hank DeVincent Field a more suitable option than the natural grass of Kamine Stadium.
Senior Rob Froio went 2-for-4 with two doubles and junior Bobby Fargnoli also had two hits - including a two-bagger - for the Leopards, who tallied nine hits as a team in the contest. Kelleher, Fargnoli, junior Kevin McCarville and sophomore Kevin Casey each drove in a run for Lafayette.
Junior left-hander Sean McGrath (0-1) took the loss in relief for the Leopards. He surrendered one earned run on two hits in 0.1 innings of work. Casey, a right-hander, made the start for Lafayette, and five total pitchers took the hill for the Maroon and White. Sophomore southpaw Michael Massa was the most effective hurler, allowing just one hit and one walk in three scoreless frames of relief.
After La Salle staked itself to an early lead with four first-inning runs, the Leopards got on the board in the top of the second frame. Kelleher started the action with a one-out single and came all the way around to score as a single from senior Alex Bechta was misplayed by Explorers' right-fielder Chris Umstead.
La Salle took that run back in the third inning via an unearned run, but the Leopards struck to tie the score with two runs apiece in the fourth and inning stanzas. A Kelleher single was the catalyst once again, as the sophomore infielder moved to second base on a Bechta groundout and came home to score when Fargnoli singled with two down in the frame. McCarville's base-hit then plated Fargnoli, who had moved to third on an error following his RBI single, to run the score to 5-3.
Froio led off the top of the sixth inning with a double to right centerfield and then moved 90 feet from home on a balk. He would race home with the Leopards fourth run on a Casey ground out. Senior Matt Fenster then reached on an error and advanced into scoring position when senior A.J. Miller walked. The equalizing tally came courtesy of Kelleher, who singled to centerfield to knot the score at 5-5.
Massa then came out of the bullpen and traded zeroes with the Explorers as the score remained tied at 5-5 entering the bottom of the eighth inning. A pair of one-out singles got things started for La Salle, and the go-ahead run came home on an error. Another error on the next play opened the floodgates, as a grand slam by Jon Gyles highlighted a seven-run inning. That crooked number proved to be the difference as the Explorers claimed a 12-5 victory.
Casey went the first two innings for the Leopards. Ethan Perro, Massa, McGrath and Jeff Snell finished out the work on the hill. Dominic Sgroi worked the first four frames in the no-decision for La Salle. The win went to Kevin Christy (1-0), who retired the only two batters he faced in relief.
The Leopards return to the diamond on Saturday, March 5 to begin a three-game series at Maryland-Baltimore County. The Retrievers host a twin bill beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. closing out the series.