RINDGE, N.H. – The Lyndon State College baseball team took control of their own destiny Tuesday night, sweeping the University of Maine at Farmington to secure a berth in the North Atlantic Conference playoffs. On a wet and windy night at Franklin Pierce University's Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field, the Hornets took game one 6-1 and then needed a walk-off single to take game two 3-2 in eight innings. The Hornets (22-16, 13-11 NAC) await seeding Wednesday night. The Beavers finish conference play 5-19 and host Bates on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. to finish out their season.
Sam Ognenoff drove a double to left center with one out and then came home on a single to right field from Devon Rollins two batters later to plate the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning.
The Hornets picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Cordeiro lifted a ball over first base to bring home Ben Rollins and Devon Rollins. After an intentional walk to Andre Eason Jr., Jason Doris was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Johnson. Johnson laid down a squeeze bunt to score Cordeiro but the Beavers were able to get out of the jam without any further damage.
The Beavers finally got on the board in the top of the sixth when Derek Bowen hit a high fly ball to right center that carried up and over the fence for a solo shot to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Lyndon tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth to complete the scoring for the game. Codi Smith singled to start the inning and then was replaced on the bases by Kevin Tufo. After Sam Ognenoff sacrificed Tufo to second, Ben Rollins launched a ball into the right center gap to bring home Tufo for the 6-1 score.
Starting pitcher Jeff Williams then retired the Beavers in order in the top of the seventh to close out the game.
Williams pitched the complete game allowing just two hits and one run. Devon Rollins went 2-for-4 at the plate with one run and one RBI while Ben Rollins smacked two doubles with a run and an RBI to lead the Hornets offensively.
Riley Chickering took the loss on the mound for the Beavers after throwing 4.1 innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. Bowen and Jordan Croteau were the only Beavers to record hits.
Lyndon jumped on top in the bottom of the first with two runs. Doris grounded out up the middle to score Cordeiro and then Eason Jr. sprinted home on a passed ball on the next batter.
The Beavers got one run back in the top of the second as they led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Anthony Bianco followed with a single through the left side to plate Ethan Gouin.
In the top of the third the Beavers tied it up 2-2 as Gouin grounded out to second to score Bowen from third.
The scoring then went quiet as the game progressed. The Hornets looked to take back the lead in the bottom of the sixth as they loaded the bases on a couple defensive misplays. However, Gavin Arsenault struck out the next two batters to get the Beavers out of the inning unscathed.
The Beavers had a chance in the top of the seventh as Kevin Carter singled to start the inning. Carter advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a wild pitch with just one out. A ground out to third and a fly out to center sent the game to the bottom of the seventh still tied.
With the Hornets unable to get a run across in the bottom half of the inning, the game extended into the eighth. Pitcher Zak Johnson retired the side in order to give the Hornets another shot at breaking the tie.
Eason Jr. led the inning off with a walk and then advanced to second on a sac bunt from Doris. Johnson lifted a ball to shallow left field that dropped in safely and Eason Jr. dashed home to beat the throw for the 3-2 win.
Johnson recorded the win on the mound in six innings of shutout relief, allowing just three hits while striking out four. Devon Rollins cracked two doubles while going 3-for-4. Eason Jr. scored two runs and went 1-for-3 at the plate.
Chad Snowman received the loss in 1.1 innings of work. Arsenault took the no decision in a solid six-inning outing, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out ten. Mark Leahy and Anthony Bianco provided two hits each with Bianco adding an RBI. Gouin finished with one run and one RBI.