Early Hitting, Late Pitching Leads Baseball Past NC Central
May 3, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - After winning game one by a 10-3 final, Lafayette held on to defeat North Carolina Central 8-7 in the nightcap of Saturday's twinbill at Kamine Stadium. The Leopards pushed eight runs across through the first three innings, while Ari Kaufman and Alex Farina combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Andrew Santomauro led the Lafayette offense by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a solo blast, and scored twice. Alex Woinski contributed two hits, Brett Thompson extended his hitting streak to six games with a pair of knocks and his first-career home run.
Facing a 2-0 deficit at the beginning of the second inning, Lafayette (14-26) took the lead for good with a six-spot and added a pair of runs in the next inning to chase NC Central's Alex Dandridge from the contest. Dandridge was saddled with the loss after surrendering eight runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Lafayette batted around in the second when Michael Coniglio turned on a pitch and doubled inside the left field line. Two batters later, Thompson's bunt single loaded the bases before Dandridge issued a walk to second baseman Nick Murray. Santomauro brought in two with a single to left that made it 3-2, and then Jackson Kramer gave himself up to put two runners in scoring position. Woinski doubled home both runners to extend the lead to three and later scored on Tyler Hudson's RBI triple as Lafayette built a 6-2 advantage.
Leading 9-3 after Thompson and Santomauro went yard in the third, Bednar struck out the side in the top of the fourth inning.
The rookie right-handed pitcher ran his strikeout total to nine at the start of the fifth inning, when he punched out Zack Lee. The K was his fourth in as many batters and marked a new career-high for Bednar. Carlos Ortiz was hit by a pitch in the ensuing at-bat prior to consecutive singles by Tyson Simpson and Carter Williamson that pulled the Eagles within four. NC Central had runners on the corners and one away for Eric Kimber, who hit a ground ball to third base. An error let him reach first safely and Simpson came in to score to make it an 8-5 game. With the bases juiced two batters later, Christian Triplett hit a deep fly ball that landed on the warning track and two Eagles came in to score.
Bednar was lifted in favor of the left-hander Kaufman, who entered the game with men on first and second and one out. Kaufman got the first batter he faced to fly out to Santomauro in centerfield, before plunking Kory Wood to load the bases. The sophomore left them loaded when Lee popped up to second base as the book closed on Bednar. He surrendered seven runs (five earned) on six hits and walked two in 4 1/3 innings.
Kaufman flirted with danger again in the sixth, but was able to keep Lafayette's lead in tact by stranding two men after yielding a pair of base hits.
Grant Cain, who replaced Dandridge to begin the fourth, completed his third inning of work by twirling a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Cain pitched five innings in all and gave up one hit, walked four and fanned a pair to keep the Eagles within striking distance.
Kaufman (1-4) and Alex Farina combined to keep NC Central off the board in the seventh inning and Kaufman was in line for the win after 2 1/3 innings of relief. The southpaw gave up two hits, walked one and struck out one to collect his first win of the season.
Farina came back out for the eighth and retired NC Central in order, including a tremendous over the shoulder catch by Santomauro near the warning track and two strikeouts.
As the rain began to fall, Cain pitched a perfect eighth inning before Farina closed the door for Lafayette in the ninth. Farina earned his third save of 2014 by pitching 2 1/3 nearly flawless innings after taking over for Kaufman. He finished with a season-high four strikeouts and the only batter to reach safely was aboard due to an error.
Lafayette closes its regular season on Sunday when the Leopards take on NC Central at 1 p.m. Prior to the game, the Class of 2014 will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
Santomauro's homer was his third of the season. The senior centerfielder leads Lafayette with 12 multi-hit games this season.
Hudson's triple in the second inning was the first of his career.