Lafayette and High Point Split Windy Saturday Doubleheader
March 17, 2007
HIGH POINT, N.C. - Lafayette and High Point split a Saturday doubleheader on a cold, windy day at Williard Stadium. The Leopards claimed the opener 9-5, sparked by Kevin Leasure's three-run home run in the seventh inning, but the long ball bit Lafayette back in the nightcap. Bill Alvino hit a solo home run with two outs in the eighth inning of a game scheduled for seven to give High Point a 5-4 decision.
In the opener, High Point (10-12) broke through for two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Chris Norwood singled home a run with a bloop single that was held up by the wind. The Panthers added another run on a throwing error to lead 2-0.
Lafayette (6-6) answered back with a four spot in visitor half of the fifth inning. With James Conrad aboard following a lead-off walk, Tom Hayes grounded to the shortstop. The shortstop fielded the ball but his throw was high and allowed Lafayette to put runners on second and third with no outs. The next batter, Jeff Butler, singled to center to bring home Conrad and Hayes and tie the game 2-2. Leasure and Chris Luick each doubled home runs to allow the Leopards to take a 4-2 lead.
Lafayette starter Ted Gjeldum pitched into the seventh. He had two outs with runners on first and second when Randy Schwartz (3-for-5) pulled a pitch off the leftfield wall to score a pair of runs and knot the game at 4-4. Kevin Reese came out of the bullpen and threw one pitch to end the rally.
In the eighth, the Leopards placed runners on first and second with two outs. Leasure (2-for-4, 4 RBI) lifted a 1-0 pitch out of the park to hand the Maroon and White a 7-4 advantage.
Lafayette piled on two more runs in the ninth. Conrad singled home Ryan Roberts who had led off the inning with a double to the wall in left. Hayes extended Lafayette's lead to 9-5 with a sac fly.
Gjeldum got the no-decision, allowing four runs over 6.2 innings. He struck out four and walked two. Reese (1-0), who threw the final 2.1 innings, allowed one unearned run on three hits to earn the victory. Chad Jennings (1-1) gave up five runs on four hits in the loss.
In the second game, Alvino's extra-inning home run handed Lafayette a 5-4 setback.
The hosts took a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Rob Kuzdale hit a two-run homer for the big blow of the inning and Alvino used a sac fly to score another.
Lafayette tied the game with one powerful swing of the bat in the top of the fifth. Designated hitter Nick Benvenuto (2-for-3) smashed a pitch into the wind over the rightfield wall to tie the game 3-3. It was Benvenuto's first home run of the season.
The teams traded runs in the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth. A lead-off walk and single put runners on the corners for High Point and the Panthers scored on a doubleplay ball to lead 4-3.
In the next half-inning, Lafayette put Daniel Bierce (3-for-4) on second with one out following his single. Hayes grounded deep into the hole at short and the only play was to third where Bierce was cut down, leaving Hayes at first with two outs. He advanced to second on a wild pitch from Mike Grosso. Butler, who is hitting well over .500 against lefthanders, came to the plate and continued his success against southpaws, pulling a single through the right side to score Hayes and tie the game.
Neither team scored a run in the seventh, but High Point ended things in the eighth with Alvino's homer.
Kamine (2-2) took the loss, throwing 7.2 innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking one. Tom Boleska, who threw 1.2 innings, allowed one hit in the mound victory to improve his record to 2-1.
Lafayette will play the eighth and final game of its Spring Break trip and close out the series with High Point on Sunday at 1 p.m. Freshman Jeremy Atkins (1-0, 2.19 ERA) is expected to get the start on the mound.
NOTES: Kevin Leasure and High Point's Chad Jennings are old rivals, facing off against each other in high school. The two were also teammates in summer baseball.
Lafayette's one-run loss was its second of the season. Overall, Lafayette is 2-2 in one-run games.
Jeff Butler and Chris Luick continue to swing hot bats. The sophomores, who hold down the starting spots at the corners, are each hitting .423 for Spring Break. Butler is hitting .426 for the season and has had a hit in every game that he has played this season. Luick is second on the team in hitting at .351.
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