(Auburndale, FL) The Rivier University Baseball team dropped a couple of heartbreakers to begin the 2013 season this afternoon as they faced Clark University in the Russmatt Invitational.
In game one, the Raiders held a 5-4 lead entering the bottom of the 7th before Clark would eventually storm back and take advantage of some Rivier miscues for the thrilling 6-5 lead.
Trailing 2-0 after three complete innings, the Raiders would score three in the top half of the fourth. With two outs, both junior Michael Scanlon (Plantsville, CT) and freshman Marc Medeiros (Arlington, MA) laced RBI singles and freshman Michael Janerico (Waquoit, MA) worked a RBI walk to give Rivier a one run lead.
The two teams would trade single runs in the sixth before Rivier would be given the lead in the seventh. Medeiros began the frame with a sharp single to center and freshman Taylor Black (West Springfield, MA) successfully sacrificed him into scoring position. Senior Aramis Velez (Lowell, MA) then ripped a ball right at the Clark first baseman who couldn't come up with it and it also allowed Medeiros to scamper home to give the Raiders a 5-4 lead.
Freshman Edward Soucie (South Ryegate, VT) then came on for the save opportunity. He was able to retire the first hitter on strikes before allowing a base hit and a hit batsman. With runners on first and second, what looked like a game-ending double play ball was booted by the Raider defense. The next Clark hitter promptly laced the first pitch from sophomore Bryar King (Berlin, NH) into left field which plated the game tying and game winning runs.
The ending ruined a brilliant start by Rivier junior Gabe May (Portsmouth, NH) who struck out 7 over his five innings of work. Soucie was tagged with the loss. Medeiros finished the game going 3-for-4 with a RBI to lead the Raider offense.
In the second game, Clark held a 3-0 lead until the bottom of the seventh when the Rivier offense came alive.
Freshman Nick Gagnon (Providence, RI) worked a leadoff walk and came around to score on a Janerico RBI groundout. Fellow freshman Austin Biery (Raymond, NH) singled and scored on an error by the Clark shortstop. With the tying run on second base, Clark was able to retire the final Rivier hitter to secure the double-header sweep.
Making his first collegiate start, freshman Jon Chotkowski (Tewksbury, MA) kept his team in the game as he allowed just two earned runs over five innings of work while striking out 5 and issuing two walks. A trio of freshman relievers – Matthew Keefe (Bradford, MA), Spencer Aguiar (Malden, MA) and Zachary Briggs (North Kingstown, RI) – kept Clark scoreless for the final two innings.
The Raiders will return to action on Tuesday afternoon as they battle Calumet College of Saint Joseph, a NAIA school from Indiana. The double-header begins at 9am at the Lake Myrtle Sportsplex in Auburndale, FL.