Baseball Closes Out West Coast Swing With One-Run Losses
March 19, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - The Leopard baseball team concluded play in the 28th Annual Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic on Saturday with an afternoon/evening doubleheader. In game one, Lafayette cranked out 16 hits, but left 13 runners on base, as Miami (Ohio) held on for a 7-6 win. In game two, the Fresno State bats had the last say, as the Bulldogs won 10-9 in the ninth inning with a walk-off single.
Against Miami (Ohio), Lafayette used the long ball in the early innings to get things going. Senior Ian Law led off the game with a solo home run to left, his first of the season.
The RedHawks answered with a big fly of their own in the top of the second. After the lead-off batter reached on single, Jordan Petraitis gave Miami a 2-1 lead with a two-run blast to straightaway centerfield.
The game did not stay knotted for long, as Miami scored four runs over the next two innings. An RBI-single by Will Reynolds gave Miami a 4-3 advantage in the third. In the fourth, Miami opened the inning with consecutive bloop singles off Lafayette starter Matt Kamine. A four-pitch walk loaded the bases and the third base-hit of the inning, a Jason Brown knock to centerfield, scored two runs.
Jason Morytko came out of the Lafayette bullpen. He got a popout and two fly balls, the second of which gave Miami a 7-3 lead on a sac fly. Morytko had a solid outing in relief in the final five innings, giving up just three hits.
In the seventh frame, Frank Cortazar reached when he was hit by a pitch. Ambrosole's single moved him into scoring position and he crossed home when Mike Raible (4-for-5) came through with a RBI-single to cut the Miami margin to 7-4.
In the eighth, Miami lifted starter Graham Taylor in favor of Connor Graham, and Lafayette responded. Freshman pinch hitters Jeff Butler and Chris Luick both contributed singles. Tyler Zeronda pinch ran for Butler and scored when Law tagged a single up the middle.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Miami again went to its bullpen, this time for Sam Shorts. Cortazar plated a run with a sac fly to make it 7-6. An infield single again loaded the bases, but Shorts got a ground ball from Kevin Leasure and a Raible flyout to end the threat.
In the ninth, Nick Benvenuto led off with a single before Shorts retired pinch hitter Clint Losch. Miami brought on Matt Long who struck out Kevin Reese and got Law to fly out to end the game and earn the save.
Kamine (0-2) took the loss, surrendering seven runs on 10 hits in three innings. Taylor (1-2) received the win, allowing four runs on 11 hits.
Against Fresno State (19-8), Lafayette battled for all nine innings before a walk and two Bulldog singles spelled the end of Lafayette's upset bid. The loss to the tournament champion marked the fifth one-run defeat of the season for the Leopards who saw Fresno State win its 12th straight game.
In the home half of the first, Beau Mills delivered a one-out two-run home run to right field that helped Fresno State take a 3-0 lead.
The Leopards threatened in the top of the second. Raible cracked a double to the gap in left center. A balk put him at third and Dave Drechsel's seeing-eye single through the infield scored him to make it 3-1. A second balk put Drechsel on second. Tyler Zeronda singled to right, but the throw just beat Drechsel to home and ended the inning.
Fresno State built its lead back to three courtesy of Frank LoNigro's solo shot to left field to lead off the bottom of the second inning.
In the top of the third, hearty fans endured a 45-minute rain delay. When the game moved to the bottom of the inning, the Bulldogs increased their lead to 5-1 on a sac fly.
The Leopards got that run back in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second running on a 3-2 count, the Fresno State catcher threw down to third on ball four. The throw glanced off the thirdbaseman's glove and allowed Benvenuto to score. Law walked to load the bases and Hayes drove him in with a sinking liner to right. Ambrosole then fisted a popup in the infield that dropped in front of the third baseman and scored Zeronda. After a second pitching change, Leasure came up with the bases still full. He ripped a 3-2 offering up the middle to score two runs and give Lafayette a 6-5 lead, their first lead of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Fresno State tied the game at 6-6 when Steve Susdorf slapped a double down the leftfield line. Ted Gjeldum came in to relieve Matt Revelle (3.1 IP, 6 R, 8 H) and got the final two outs of the inning to preserve the tie.
Lafayette cut the lead down to 9-7 in the eighth. Butler came up with his second pinch hit of the day, a double that moved pinch runner Luick to third. Law knocked Luick in with a fielder's choice. Lafayette got within one run (9-8), when Hayes placed a single through the left side of the infield.
In the bottom of the eighth, Fresno State loaded the bases with three singles, but John Fugett and the Lafayette defense played their way out of the jam. Daniel Bierce turned a 4-3 doubleplay to give Lafayette a shot in the top of the ninth.
Fresno State brought in top starter Andy Underwood to face the Leopards lineup. A one-out single from Leasure got the inning going. Raible doubled to the opposite field to score pinch runner James Conrad. Drechsel and Luick struck out looking to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Lapin led the inning off with a walk on a 3-2 count and moved to third on Frank LoNigro's single. The game ended at 12:34 (PT) when Gavin Hedstrom singled to right field off Fugett. The junior took the loss, allowing one run on five hits in one complete inning of work. Underwood (5-2) got the win after giving up one run on two hits in his only inning of work.
Lafayette (3-10) will next host Penn on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Class of 1978 Stadium.
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