Lyndonville, VT - The Lyndon State College baseball team played at home at the Skip Pound Baseball Complex for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, and split a pair of North Atlantic Conference Games with New England College. The Pilgrims took the opener, 9-3, but the Hornets bounced back with a 5-4 win in the nightcap. The split leaves the Hornets at 7-11 overall on the season and 3-1 in NAC play, while the Pilgrims are 17-7 overall and 6-4 in conference.
Game 1 - NEC 9, Lyndon 3
The Pilgrims got on the board in the top of the second inning. Manuel Andujar (West New York, NY) reached on a fielder's choice to drive in Luis Antiles (Boston, MA), who had drawn a walk earlier in the inning. The Hornets responded with a pair in the bottom of the inning, as Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME) led off with a single to left. Tyler Roberge (Essex, VT) and Zach Hale (St. Johnsbury, VT) followed with a pair of singles to load the bases. Rollins came home on a wild pitch, then Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT) lined a shot back up the middle off of NEC pitcher Jameson Carey's (Amherst, MA) glove to score Roberge, and the Hornets led, 2-1.
After a scoreless third inning, NEC loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth. John Prentice (Saugus, MA) then singled home one run. Christian Aybar (Pawtucket, RI)drove in another with a sacrifice fly, and Xavier Nunez (Lawrence, MA) singled in a third to make it 4-2, Pilgrims.
Lyndon got one run back in the bottom of the fourth. Hale led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Collin Clark (Rutland, VT), who eventually came around to score when Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, CT) grounded into a fielder's choice. That would turn out to be Lyndon's last run, however, as Carey kept the Hornets in check over the final three innings, facing the minimum nine batters.
Meanwhile, NEC scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Andujar provided the big hit with a bases loaded two-run double. The Pilgrims added three more in the seventh, as Nick Powers (Malden, MA) hit a solo home run over the right field wall and Nunez delivered a two-out two-run single.
Carey went the distance to earn the win. He scatttered ten hits and allowed tow earned runs while striking out four. Hornet starter Codi Smith (Hartford, VT) took the loss.
Game 2 - Lyndon 5, NEC 4
After neither team scored in the first inning and NEC went in order in the top of the second, Lyndon's Ryder Thorton (Essex, VT), rollins, and Sam Ogenoff (Brattleboro, VT) each walked to load the bases starting the bottom of the second. Shaun Cormier (Rochester, NH) then came out of the NEC bullpen to relieve starter Jeam Castillo (Lynn, MA), and was promptly greeted with a two-run double from Hale. Ryan Cordiero (Rollinsford, NH) then reached on an error, scoring Ogenoff. With two outs, Smith tripled to the wall, scoring Cordiero and Hale, making the score 5-0, Lyndon.
Neither team got on the board in the third inning, and Atiles drew a walk to open the top of the fourth. Stanley Vargas (Boston, MA) doubled to put runners at second and third. Antiles and Vargas scored on a fielder's choice and a throwing error, making the score 5-2.
Andrew Whalen (Cumberland, RI) relieved Lyndon starter John Boulay (Dighton, MA) to start the fifth inning, and promptly retired the Pilgrims in order. cormier returned the favor by shotting down the Hornets in the bottom half of the inning.
NEC rallied in the top of the sixth inning. Atiles led off with a double and Powers was hit by a pitch. After Whalen retired the next two batters, Andujar delivered a two-run double to cut the Lyndon lead to 5-4. The next two batters walked to load the bases, but Whalen was able to strike out Nunez to end the threat. Whalen then closed the door in the top of the seventh to give Lyndon the victory.
Boulay allowed two runs, one earned, over four innings to pick up the win. Whalen recorded a three-inning save. Castillo took the loss for NEC.
The Hornets will travel to the University of Maine at Farmington for a pair of doubleheaders this weekend. Saturday's twinbill will begin at 1:00 pm, while Sunday's games start at noon. NEC will host Colby-Sawyer College on Friday.