(Frostproof, FL) The Rivier University Baseball team finished their 2013 Spring Trip with a pair of thrilling games against Gordon College on Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders dropped the first game of the afternoon by a 5-4 final as the Fighting Scots were able to plate the winning run in the bottom of the 7th to steal the victory.
Rivier (0-7 overall) took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first off as John Dibenedetto (Sr./Tampa, Fla.) and Michael Scanlon (So./Plantsville, Conn.) laced a couple of RBI singles to center field that scored both Marc Medeiros (Fr./Arlington, MA) and Jeremy Ball (Fr./Swanzey, NH).
The Scots' Ben Davidson (Sr./Sterling, Mass.) sac flied to right in the bottom half of the frame to score Eric Walker (Fr./Danvers, Mass.) and Alex German (So./Brimfield, Ill.) stole home to level the game back at 2-2. Davidson then grounded out to short to plate German in the bottom of the third to give Gordon the one-run lead.
The Raiders quickly responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Michael Janerico (Fr./Waquoit, MA) scampered home on a Bryar King (So./Berlin, NH) single and Ball crossed the plate due to a Gordon miscue.
Once again the Fighting Scots answered in the home half of the inning as Walker's single to left brought home Dillon Coleman (Sr./Cromwell, Conn.) and once again deadlock the game (4-4).
Then, following two and a half scoreless innings, Davidson ripped a bases-loaded RBI single to left to drive in Walker for the game-winning run.
Brian Harrington (Sr./Shoreham, N.Y.) earned his first win of the season on the mound for Gordon, while Rivier's Lucas Palma (So./Bristol, Conn.) was tabbed with the loss.
Rivier's starter Gabe May (Jr./Portsmouth, NH) received a no decision as he tossed 3.2 innings allowing four runs and striking out three. Offensively, the Raiders were paced by both Ball and King who had 2 hits apiece.
The nightcap provided equal excitement as Rivier jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second off a Kyle Bowser (Sr./Newington, N.H.) three-run homer.
Gordon's Alex Potocki (Fr./New Fairfield, Conn.) responded at the top of the next frame with an RBI single to plate Harrington and later repeated that same play in the top of the fifth for another run while Geoff Brown (Sr./East Moriches, N.Y.) also recorded a sac fly to right in the fifth to score Rinaldi and even the game at 3-3.
The bats for both teams then stayed silent for the next two and a half innings to leave the game still knotted at the end of seven.
That all changed in the top of the eighth, however, as Harrington ripped an RBI double to left to score Walker and Stephen Crawford (Sr./Haddon Heights, N.J.). Eric Rinaldi (Fr./Torrington, Conn.) then singled to right in the next at bat to bring in German and secure the eventual 6-3 victory.
Harrington once again earned the win to improve his season record to 2-0. The loss was handed to Jon Chotkowski (Fr./Tewksbury, MA) who pitched 7.1 innings allowing just four runs and striking out six while not issuing a single walk.
Bowser finished the game going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI to account for all of the Raider offense.
Rivier Baseball will return to action next weekend as they will travel down to Quincy, Massachusetts and take on Eastern Nazarene College on Saturday, March 16th. Both games of the double-header will be played on the campus of Eastern Nazarene with first pitch scheduled for 12:30pm.