Worcester, Mass. – Zach Kelley (Hadley, Mass.) smacked a walk off single to center in the bottom of the ninth of game two, helping Clark University split a New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball doubleheader with Emerson College on Saturday afternoon at a rainy, dreary Granger Diamond.
Game 1 Score: Emerson College 4, Clark University 3
Game 2 Score: Clark University 6, Emerson College 5
Records: Clark University 13-3 (1-1 NEWMAC); Emerson College (8-4, 1-1 NEWMAC)
Location: Granger Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The opener developed into quite a pitcher's duel as Emerson hurler Henry Schwartz and Clark starter Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) were both locked in and in total control.
Neither team mustered much offense and the game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth when Emerson got back-to-back singles and a sacrifice, putting runners on second and third with one out. Tim Quitadamo then drove in the first run with a groundout to short.
Things stayed that way until the top of the eighth when a double from Mitch Moorman and an intentional walk to Pablo Feldman led to a two-run double from Conor Damiano, pushing the Lions' advantage to 3-0.
Clark answered back in the bottom of the inning, pushing three runs across to even the score highlighted by a Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.).
Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) came in to pitch the top of the ninth and found himself in some trouble when he loaded the bases with one out. After recording the second out, it looked as if he would get out of the frame unscathed but bases loaded walk to Neil Perry forced in the go ahead run.
Cal Laird came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for Emerson and after he got a strikeout to start the inning, he induced a pair of groundouts to first to end the contest.
Schwartz, who left with the lead, wound up with a no decision, tossing seven innings, allowing just two hits to go along with seven strikeouts. Slepkow, meanwhile, went eight innings, yielding three runs on six hits and added ten strikeouts.
In the nightcap, Emerson jumped on Clark starter Mike Tice (Chelmsford, Mass.) early, getting two runs on a passed ball and a Danny Johnson RBI single.
The Cougars got one back when Bonicki tripled to right center with one out and then scored on a Kelley sacrifice fly.
Emerson moved back in front in the third when Johnson recorded a sacrifice fly and then Tice hit Kyle Becker with the bases loaded, sending another run home.
Clark inched closer in the bottom of the inning as they loaded the bases against Lion starter Sam Knox and pushed two runs across on a Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) sacrifice fly and on a Nick Jordan (Seaford, N.Y.) RBI single.
Things settled down over the next few innings but the Clark bats came to life in the sixth when Jordan led off the inning with a double and then David Rotando (Hastings, N.Y.) drew a walk. Bonicki followed that up with a two-run double, giving the Cougars a 5-4 lead.
Cam Smith (Gorham, Maine), who came in to relieve Tice after the hit batsman with two outs in the third, was moving right along but ran into some trouble in the seventh. After loading the bases with one out, however, Smith was able to escape the inning by recording back-to-back strikeouts.
Smith was making quick work of the Lions in the eighth, getting the first two outs with relative ease. Perry, however, singled to center and then stole second, setting the stage for Feldman, who drove in the tying run with a single to center.
That was the case for Clark in the ninth when Laird recorded a pair of easy outs before Downing got on base with a single through the middle. He then stole second and raced home with the game-winning run on Kelley's rocket to center.
Daniel Davidoff (Old Tappan, N.J.) scooped up another win in relief, tossing the ninth inning, while Laird, who got the save in the opener, takes the loss in the nightcap.
Perry went 4-for-5 with three runs scored in the second game, while both Feldman and Johnson had two hits each.
For the Scarlet and White Bonicki, Downing, Jordan and Kelley all had two hits each in the second game.
Clark is back in action on Sunday when they host Anna Maria in a non-league twinbill while the Lions visit WPI on Tuesday for a NEWMAC single game.