NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - MCLA's Jeff Bink drilled a walk off single in the 12th inning in the opener and BSU's Jacob Robbins tossed a complete game in the nightcap as the Trailblazers split a MASCAC twinbill with visiting Bridgewater State University this afternoon at Joe Wolfe Field.
MCLA took the first game 4-3 in 12 innings before the Bears earned the split with an 8-4 victory in the nightcap. MCLA is now 12-11-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the MASCAC. The Bears are 5-19 overall and 1-9 in conference play as they snapped a 12-game losing streak. The win in game two marked the 550th coaching victory for BSU skipper Rick Smith.
MCLA never led in the opener until the game-winning hit by Bink. The Bears got a pair of runs early in the second inning on Tyler Morini's hit for an early 2-0 advantage. MCLA would scratch out an unearned run in the third inning via a passed ball slicing the deficit to 2-1. The score would remain that way until the bottom of the seventh.
Down to their last out and the bases clear, Trailblazer Bill Pulasky lofted a popup that seemingly would end it. It fell however, and MCLA had life. Christian Seariac then reached on an infield miscue putting the tying run in scoring position. Brett LaBonte would rip an RBI single to left to tie things up and send the game to extras.
Both teams went quietly in the eighth before the Bears once again took the lead in the ninth. Ryan Kelleher's RBI single scored pinch runner Dominic Precopio for a 3-2 edge. BSU threatened for more but MCLA turned an inning ending double play to limit the damage.
In the bottom of the ninth, MCLA once again rallied with two outs. Logan Rumbolt drove home Ben Durland, who had earlier walked, making it 3-3. The Bears would get out of the jam though and the game continued until the twelfth inning.
In the 12th, Joe Dimassimo drew a one out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. The Bears elected to intentionally walk Joe Toledo, which brought Bink up to the plate. Bink was 0-6 on the day heading to the plate but promptly lined a single into right center setting up the winning celebration.
The Trailblazers used five pitchers in the contest as Frank Rickus earned the win. Rickus (2-0) tossed a scoreless 12th inning with a pair of strikeouts. Liam Nolan started and gave up two runs, but struck out nine Bear hitters. Pulasky and LaBonte had two hits to pace the MCLA offense in the opener. MCLA did leave 15 runners on base.
The Bears were led offensively by Morini, Alex Carey, Randy Frazier, and Kevin Bresciani who all had two hits. Bridgewater wasted a solid pitching effort from starter Connor Birch. Birch tossed 6.2 innings without allowing an earned run. He struck out three batters. Jarrett Archambault absorbed the loss going 1.1 innings out of the bullpen. Archambault (0-3) gave up a run on a hit and four walks with one strikeout. The Bears left 11 runners on base in the contest.
BSU was hampered by seven errors on the afternoon. Two of the miscues occurred in the seventh inning when the Trailblazers tied the game.
The Bears jumped ahead early off Trailblazer starter Shawn James. After a perfect first inning, James was touched up for four runs in the second inning and two more in the third. Lewis Robinson got things started with an RBI single and Kelleher drove in two more runs with a single to right center making it 3-0. A Trailblazer error brought home Kelleher for a 4-0 advantage.
They would add two more unearned runs in the third inning on Precopio's two-run single increasing the lead to 6-0.
Robbins cruised through the first four frames for the Bears but ran into trouble in the fifth.
MCLA scored four times on three hits to get back into it. Pulasky's RBI single started the scoring and a Bear miscue with the bases loaded brought home two more runs making it 6-3. Rumbolt's single to centerfield pulled MCLA within two at 6-4 but the Trailblazers stranded two runners against Robbins.
The Bears pieced together another run in the sixth on Sean Casey's sacrifice fly to right field extending the lead to 7-4. Frazier's RBI single to center brought home another run for the Bears making it 8-4.
Kelleher had two hits, scored twice, and had two RBI's for the Bears in game two. Carey and Frazier each scored twice for the Bears.
Robbins earned the win as he went the distance. He allowed five hits and struck out four Trailblazers to improve to 2-3 on the season.
James (0-2) took the loss for MCLA as he allowed six runs (three earned) on three hits and a pair of walks. He fanned one.
Both teams host MASCAC doubleheaders on Tuesday afternoon at two. The Bears take on Mass. Maritime Academy, while the Trailblazers battle Westfield State University.