Worcester, Mass. – Clark University scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the host Cougars posted a 9-7 win over Worcester-area rival Nichols College on Thursday afternoon.
The win for the Cougars sees them wrap up their homestand an impressive 7-2 and marks the eighth game this season in which they have collected ten hits or more.
Score: Clark University 9, Nichols College 7
Records: Clark University 16-4; Nichols College 9-6
Location: Granger Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Scarlet and White actually jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first as they strung together five of their 12 hits in the frame, highlighted by an RBI triple from Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) and RBI singles from Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) and Zach Kelley (Hadley, Mass.).
Nichols was able to get one back in the second on a Joe Assenza (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) infield hit, but Clark starter Conor Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.) found a groove and held the Bison at bay until the sixth inning.
With Walsh in control on the mound, the Clark offense went in front 6-1, getting two runs in the third on sacrifice flies from Jackson Posnik (Wellesley, Mass.) and Kyle Shaw (Litchfield, N.H.) and a single run in the fourth on a Tyler Hutchinson (Greene, Maine) infield single that scored Downing.
Nichols closed the gap in the sixth when Nick Roy (Middletown, R.I.) and Tim Ford (Stafford Springs, Conn.) delivered RBI singles off of Walsh and then got two more in the seventh off of Daniel Davidoff (Old Tappan, N.J.) on a pinch hit RBI double by Ryan Nesbit (Manchester, Conn.) and a Chris Cerniglia (Monroe, N.J.) run scoring groundout.
The Bison then evened the game in the eighth with an unearned run, but Clark answered back immediately in the bottom of the inning. Nick Jordan (Seaford, N.Y.) led off the inning with a single up the middle and then Bonicki dropped down an excellent bunt to put runners at first and second with no outs. After a Downing fly out and wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out, Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.) smacked what turned out to be the game-winning two-run triple to deep center, giving the Cougars an 8-6 lead.
Clark's other run came later in the inning when the Scarlet and White executed a perfect suicide squeeze, with Kelley laying down a picture perfect bunt and Chochrek racing home for the Cougars' ninth run.
Downing came in to pitch the ninth an gave up a run on the first two hits he allowed all season, but retired the side to earn his league-leading third save of the year.
Inside The Numbers:
Cam Cook (Phoenixville, Pa.) and Ford each went 3-for-5 for Nichols, while Christian Nacarri (Ossining, N.Y.) also had two hits.
For the Cougars, meanwhile, Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) tossed 1.2 innings, allowing an unearned run but collects to win in relief.
Jordan was excellent from his leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Bonicki, Downing and Hutchinson all had two hits and Chochrek and Kelley each had two RBI.
The Cougars are slated to face off with league heavyweight MIT this weekend in Cambridge on Sunday beginning at 12:00 p.m. Nichols, meanwhile, is scheduled to visit Amherst on Saturday for a non-league twinbill.