Hornets Outlasted by Pilgrims in First Round

Hornets Outlasted by Pilgrims in First Round
CASTLETON, Vt. – The third seed Lyndon State College baseball team opened up the North Atlantic Conference playoffs with a tough 11-8 loss to second seed New England College Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field on the campus of Castleton University.

Lyndon immediately returns to action, facing Castleton in an elimination game Saturday scheduled to begin at 4:35 p.m. while New England College will return to play on Sunday to face Husson at 11:00 a.m.

New England College jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning, loading the bases with one out on an error and two batters hit by pitches.  Jeam Castillo (Lynn, Mass.) drove in Carey with a single, and then Joe Paliotte (Warwick, R.I.) sent a single up the middle that scored Luis Atiles (Dorchester, Mass.) and Delaney.

After two more hit batters, Aneury Lara (Boston, Mass.) drove in Castillo and Paliotte with a double to left field, and Crouse followed with his own double, scoring Manuel Alejandro (East Hartford, Conn.) and Lara to give the Pilgrims a 7-0 lead.

Lyndon immediately cut into its deficit in the top of the second inning as Codi Smith (Hartford, Vt.) led off with a single, Trevor Markey (Ocoee, Fla.) followed with a double, and Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, Maine) drove in both players with a one-out single to left-center field.  With two outs and two runners on, Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, Conn.) singled to left field to score Rollins, and Ryan Cordeiro (Rollinsford, N.H.) would come around to score from first base thanks to an error.

Zak Johnson (East Hampton, Conn.) led off the third inning with a walk, advanced to third base on back-to-back groundouts, and scored on an attempted double steal with Sam Ognenoff (Brattleboro, Vt.), who put himself in a rundown to allow Johnson to come home.  New England College had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the third by loading the bases, but the Hornets induced a pop up to end the threat.

In the fourth inning, Ben Rollins drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single by Cordeiro, and scored on a single by Eason Jr.  After a double steal, Cordeiro scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Doris (Lincoln, R.I.), tying the game at 7-7.

Lyndon took the lead in the top of the fifth as Markey singled to right field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, reached third on the back end of an attempted double steal, and scored on a double to left-center field by Ben Rollins.  In the bottom of the fifth, the Pilgrims would tie the game on back-to-back doubles by Andrew Castano (Inwood, N.Y.) and Alejandro.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the score tied at 8-8, Evan Delaney (Hadley, Mass.) hit a line drive home run over the left field wall to put New England College back on top. The Pilgrims extended their lead in the eighth inning when Conor Crouse (West Haven, Conn.) led off with a single and Jameson Carey (Amherst, Mass.) followed with a two-run home run to left-center field.

The Hornets outhit the Pilgrims, 14-10, led by 3-for-4 performances by Eason Jr. and Rollins as well as a 3-for-5 hitting day by Smith.

Crouse and Paliotte each went 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI to lead the New England College offense.

Raymond Rosado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came into the game with one out in the fifth inning and allowed just two hits and one walk in 2 2/3 innings of work to earn the victory for NEC. Stanley Vargas (Boston, Mass.) pitched the final two innings, earning three strikeouts to collect the save.  Lyndon's Neil Robinson (Stoddard, N.H.) took the loss after allowing the Delaney home run.