Winter Haven, Fla. – Powered by an incredible all-around performance from Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) Clark University fought their way past New England College, 14-9, in non-league baseball action on Monday morning at the RussMatt Invitational.
Score: Clark University 14, New England College 9
Records: Clark University 5-1; New England College 0-3
Location: Chain Of Lakes Field #2, Winter Haven, Fla.
How It Happened:
In a game that lasted more than five hours, Clark pushed across four runs in the top of the 13th inning to break open a tie game enroute to a win that looked like it would elude the Cougars for the better part of the contest.
New England College broke out to a 4-0 lead off of Clark starter Conor Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.), courtesy of an Evan Delaney (Hadley, Mass.) two-run triple in the third and Luis Atiles (Dorchester, Mass.) two-run homerun in the fourth.
Clark got three runs back in the fifth when David Rotando (Cold Spring, N.Y.) recorded an RBI single to right and then Downing drove in a pair with a base hit of his own.
Anuery Lara (Boston, Mass.) bumped the Pilgrim advantage back to two runs after a solo shot to left to start the bottom of the sixth. However, Downing launched a blast of his own in the top of the seventh to keep the Cougars within striking distance.
The Scarlet and White took their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth when Rotando knocked in another and then Downing plated two more with his single to center.
Now trailing 7-5 heading into the bottom of the frame, the Pilgrims evened the score when Delaney crushed a two-out, three-run homer to deep left field, giving NEC an 8-7 edge.
Clark got to reliever Jameson Carey (Amherst, Mass.) with a pair of unearned runs to go back in front in the ninth. First, Nick Jordan (Seaford, N.Y.) scored on a Rotando infield hit and then Kyle Shaw (Litchfield, N.H.) was awarded home on a balk, pushing the Cougars ahead, 9-8.
Lonnie Cohen (Teaneck, N.J.) got the Pilgrims off and running in the bottom of the ninth when he led off with a double down the left field line and then moved to third on a balk. He came home when Manuel Alejandro (East Hartford, Conn.) singled to right.
The Cougars had a chance to go in front in the tenth when they loaded the bases with one out but Carey was able to make a great play off the mound get Dylan Horn (Sterling, Conn.) to hit into an inning ending double play.
Things looked bleak for the Scarlet and White after Delaney led off the inning with a triple to right center off of reliever Daniel Davidoff (Old Tappan, N.J.). Davidoff, however, was able to induce a shallow fly to left and then recorded two strikeouts to escape the inning.
The rally for the Cougars came with one out in the 13th when Shaw drew a walk. He stole second and then went to third on a Rotando infield hit.
Rotando promptly swiped second forcing the Pilgrims to intentionally walk Kyle Bonicki (Waterford, Conn.) for the second time in the game.
Downing actually brought the winning run in with a bases loaded walk but Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.) delivered the big blow – a bases clearing double that gave the Cougars a 13-9 lead. Chris Dibble (Manchester, Conn.) tacked on an RBI single later in the inning.
Having already used six pitchers, Clark turned to Downing and he recorded all three outs in the 13th via the strikeout to preserve the win.
Inside The Boxscore:
The teams combined to use 14 different pitchers and 43 student-athletes played in the contest.
Atiles finished with five hits, two RBI and two runs scored but the star of the afternoon for the Pilgrims was Delaney. He went 4-for-6 with two triples, a homerun and five RBI.
Downing, Rotando and Chochrek all had four hits for the Cougars, while Shaw scored four runs. In addition to his four hits, Downing also had six RBI, two runs scored an outfield assist.
"That's a great win for our team today," said Clark University head coach JP Pyne. "A lot of guys really stepped up in critical late situations. Daniel Davidoff was excellent for us out of the bullpen and we needed that kind of performance."
Clark will face off against Husson on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., while the Pilgrims will play a doubleheader on Wednesday against WPI.