May 7, 2013

BASEBALL RALLIES FOR 7-4 WIN AT PACE IN FIRST ROUND OF NORTHEAST-10 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Pleasantville, N.Y. – Senior right fielder Kody O'Connor (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) went 3-for-5 and singled home the game-winning run as the third-seeded Le Moyne College baseball team rallied for a 7-4 win over second-seeded Pace University on Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championships at Finnerty Field.

With the win, the Dolphins advance to the double-elimination portion of the Northeast-10 Championships, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. The Dolphins will open defense of their conference championship in Thursday's second game, at a time still to be determined, against Merrimack College. New Haven and Bentley University will square off in Thursday's first game. The two losers will then meet in an elimination game to wrap up Thursday's action.

Pace, which took two of the three regular season games from the Dolphins two weekends ago, opened the game's scoring with a run on three hits in the second inning. Catcher Joe Solomeno led off with a double to left center and moved to third on a single through the right side by first baseman Ian Wukitsch. Shortstop Robert Horn then singled up the middle to drive in Solomeno.

The Setters added to their lead in the bottom of the third with two runs on three hits. Right fielder Charlie Galasso singled to right field with one out, but was retired at second as left fielder Brandon Martineson reached on a fielder's choice. Following a single by designated hitter James Pjura, Solomeno doubled to right center to plate Martineson and Pjura.

Le Moyne cut into its deficit with two runs on three hits in the top of the fifth inning. All-conference senior catcher Brian Stinson (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley) led off with a single to left field and advanced to third on a double to center by all-conference graduate student second baseman Vincent Redmond (Ithaca, N.Y./Lansing/Garrett College). Graduate student designated hitter Matthew Ciraco (White Plains, N.Y./Perkiomen School) followed with a single to center to drive in Stinson. After senior third baseman Zack Wiley (Toluca Woods, Calif./Crespi) walked to load the bases, all-conference junior centerfielder Pat Wiese (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) grounded out to knock in Redmond.

Pace regained its multiple-run lead in the sixth inning as Solomeno blasted a one-out solo home run to left field.

The Dolphins completed their rally in the seventh inning with three runs on five hits and a Pace error. Redmond singled up the middle to open the frame and moved to second on a balk. Ciraco then singled down the left field line and took second on a fielding error by the left fielder, which allowed Redmond to score. Wiley followed with a single to center to drive in Ciraco with the game-tying run and force a Pace pitching change. After an infield single by Wiese and a pair of outs, O'Connor singled to center to knock in Wiese from second with the go-ahead run.

Le Moyne extended its lead in the top of the eighth with two runs on one hit and a Pace error. Junior left fielder Nate Reynolds (Johnson City, N.Y./Maine-Endwell) drew a walk to open the inning and moved to second as Stinson reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. After a wild pitch moved each runner up 90 feet, Redmond singled to center field to drive in Reynolds and Stinson.

Sophomore all-conference southpaw Ryan Davis (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) improved to 7-3 on the season after striking out seven batters in his Northeast-10 Conference-best ninth complete game, while yielding four runs on eight hits. Redmond and Wiley joined O'Connor in posting three hits, while Redmond drove in two runs. Ciraco, Wiese and Stinson each had two hits as the Dolphins finished with 15 hits, tied for the most in a road game this season (at Seton Hill, Bentley and East Stroudsburg). Josh Grant took the loss for the Setters out of the bullpen after giving up one run on two hits in one inning of work. Solomeno finished the game with all three of Pace's extra-base hits.