(Nashua, NH) Freshman Jon Chotkowski (Tewksbury, MA) pitched seven innings allowing three runs and striking out seven as the Rivier University Baseball team defeated visiting New England College, 7-3 in a non-conference contest inside of Historic Holman Stadium.
The Pilgrims got on the board early thanks to the shaky Raider defense. Leadoff hitter Conor Crouse came around to score after the Raider right fielder misplayed a base hit from Brandon Adorno. Christopher Smith, who reached on a bunt base hit, touched home plate on a passed ball as the visitors held a 2-0 lead.
Rivier would tie the game in the home half of the third as senior Aramis Velez (Lowell, MA) lifted a sacrifice fly to center that plated freshman Taylor Black (West Springfield, MA). Black began the inning with a double inside the right field line. Senior John DiBenedetto (Tampa, FL) then singled home freshman Marc Medeiros (Arlington, MA) with two outs to tie the game.
The Raiders then took the lead for good in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Black got a seeing eye single up the middle that scored both sophomore Bryar King (Berlin, NH) and senior Kyle Bowser (Newington, NH). Two batters later, freshman Jeremy Ball (Swanzey, NH) knocked home classmate Nick Gagnon (Providence, RI) and Black to give the Raiders a 6-2 lead.
That would be all that Chotkowski would need as he gave up just one more unearned run in the seventh as he earned his second win of the season.
Sophomore Jesse Turcotte (Tyngsboro, MA) and King combined to hold New England College scoreless over the final two innings.
Black finished the game going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI to lead the Rivier offense.
Adorno was the offensive star for the Pilgrims as he went 4-for-5. He also flashed the leather as he robbed Velez of a double with a diving stop in the fifth. Smith finished the evening with a solid 2-for-5 night. Richard Martinelli suffered the loss for New England College as he allowed six runs over 4.2 innings pitched. Nick Leishear finished the rest of the game for the Pilgrims.
The win improves the Raiders to 7-26 on the season while the loss drops New England College to 2-16.
Rivier will be back in action on Saturday afternoon as they will travel to Norwich University for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference double-header. New England College will battle Colby-Sawyer College in a North Atlantic Conference contest beginning at 4pm.