Worcester, Mass. – Clark University scored the game's final five runs and the host Cougars opened up the 2017 campaign with a workman-like 9-6 come-from-behind win over Elms College in non-league baseball action on Saturday afternoon.
The Scarlet and White, playing a February home opener for the second consecutive season, got several excellent offensive performances and stellar relief pitching enroute to the victory.
Score: Clark University 9, Elms College 6
Records: Clark University 1-0; Elms College 0-1
Location: Granger Baseball Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.): 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 2 runs scored
Nick Jordan (Seaford, N.Y.): 3-for-5, 2 RBI, run scored
Conor Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.): 2.2 innings pitched, three hits, no runs, 1 strikeout
How It Happened:
After two scoreless innings, the Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the third when Chochrek blasted a towering two-run shot to deep left field for his seventh career homerun.
The Blazers answered back getting two runs off of Clark starter Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) when Tim Gelzinis tripled to left field.
With the score tied, the Scarlet and White went back in front when Jackson Posnik (Wellesley, Mass.) walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth and then raced around to score on a double by Jordan.
Elms jumped back in front when they took advantage of a pair of Cougar miscues to go in front, 6-4.
The Scarlet and White slowly began to chip away at their deficit beginning in the sixth when Jordan led off the frame with a single and worked his way around and then scored on perfectly executed double steal.
Jordan was in the mix of it all again in the seventh, when both Chochrek and Thibault drew walks and then he singled home Chochrek. Clark tacked on another in the inning to go in front 7-6 when Chris Dibble (Manchester, Conn.) delivered a base hit through the left side that chased Thibault home.
On the mound, meanwhile, Walsh, who entered in relief in the sixth was handcuffing the visiting Blazers, and then when they did get a baserunner in the eighth, he picked him off to end the inning.
The Cougars went on to grab a pair of insurance runs in the eighth when a pair of freshmen – Posnik and Thibault – both registered run scoring singles.
Josh Dobratz (Southington, Conn.) then came in for the ninth and nailed down his second career save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"It was great to see our guys battle back and get a win," said Clark head coach J.P. Pyne. "We made some mistakes and there is plenty to clean up, but I'm happy with our effort."
The Scarlet and White are right back in action on Sunday with another home contest, this time against Keene State. First pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m.