Worcester, Mass. – Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.) drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning and Clark University rallied for a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind win over Fitchburg State in non-league baseball action on Thursday afternoon.
The win for the Cougars in their sixth in a row and ninth in their last ten contests. For the Falcons, meanwhile, they drop their second in a row after a brief three-game winning streak.
Score: Clark University 8, Fitchburg State 7
Records: Clark University 11-2; Fitchburg State 4-7
Location: Granger Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The visiting Falcons jumped in front in the top of the third after Clark starter Patrick Robinson (Watertown, Conn.) yielded a pair of walks and an RBI single by Sean Maki (Fitchburg, Mass.).
Fitchburg State then added to its advantage in the fourth with a two-run single by Andrew Currie (North Quincy, Mass.).
Meanwhile, Falcon starter Kyle Nocera (Mendon, Mass.) was quieting the normally boisterous Clark bats, holding the Scarlet and White without a hit for the first three innings.
The Cougars finally broke through in the fourth when Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) led off the inning with a double, but was still standing their two outs later after Nocera was able to get consecutive strikeouts. Back-to-back walks to Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) and Jake Vera (Plainview, N.Y.) loaded the bases and it looked as if the Falcons would get out of trouble without allowing a run but a fielding error allowed two Cougar runs to score. Clark then tied the game when Rudy Sarro (New Fairfield, Conn.) singled to left, making the score 3-3.
Things stayed that way until the sixth when Fitchburg State pushed four runs across on a Lefebvre sacrifice fly, a Nathan Littman (Abington, Mass.) double and a two-run Maki single.
Clark sliced into their 7-3 deficit in the seventh when Chochrek brought in a pair of runners with a double to left field and another followed when Lefebvre singled to center.
Daniel Davidoff (Old Tappan, N.J.) who came in and got one out in the fifth, was able to pitch effectively but got huge defensive plays to help keep the Falcons off the board. First, Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, Maine) made a spectacular catch in left field, banging against the wall but still managing to hold on to the ball in the seventh. Then, with runners on first and second in the eighth, Downing was able to start a 5-3 inning-ending double play to keep Clark close.
Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) started the eighth inning uprising when he singled to right with two outs. After Downing was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, Chochrek delivered his game-winning double, giving the Cougars an 8-7 lead.
Downing took the mound in search of his third save and even though the Falcons put the first two runners of the ninth on base, Downing struck out the next three batters to secure the win.
Inside The Boxscore:
Clark only had seven hits all afternoon with both Chochrek (four RBI) and Downing (three runs scored) finishing with two doubles each.
Davidoff, meanwhile, tossed 2.1 innings allowing just two hits to pick up his third win of the season and second in the last three days.
"Again, our guys kept fighting and came through late," said head coach J.P. Pyne. "I'm proud of our effort."
Clark will continue its homestand on Friday with a non-league against Rivier. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.