(Nashua, N.H.) The Rivier University Baseball team finished the tough Great Northeast Athletic Conference weekend with a come from behind 4-3 win over visiting Johnson and Wales University at Historic Holman Stadium. The Raiders fell in the opener, 9-3 and are now 8-20 overall with a 3-5 GNAC mark. The Wildcats, who dropped three GNAC games this weekend, are 18-8 overall and 5-3 in the conference.
Game Two: Rivier University 4, Johnson and Wales University 3 (Final)
Sophomore Ty Seaton's (Providence, R.I.) game tying double in the sixth inning followed by a go-ahead single from senior Jeremy Ball (Swanzey, N.H.) vaulted the Raiders to their third conference win in the nightcap of the day's double-header.
The four run sixth was highlighted by the Seaton double but it was set up with three consecutive singles, including senior Frederick O'Brien's (South Boston, Mass.) RBI single to plate the first Rivier run of the game. Seaton then lined a 3-2 offering from JWU starter Brandon Rainville (2-1) just past the outstretched dive of left-fielder Tom Elkow which allowed juniors Jacob Rayner (Billerica, Mass.) and Adam Arkell (Dover, N.H.) to scamper home. Ball then singled to left to plate O'Brien to account for all of the scoring.
Sophomore starting pitcher Charlie Savard (Tyngsboro, Mass.) did the job on the hill as he threw his first career complete game. The right-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits without issuing a free pass.
Rainville finished the game with a CG effort – 6 innings pitched – giving up four runs, all earned, on seven hits and fanning eight.
Game One: Johnson and Wales University 9, Rivier University 3 (Final)
The opening game was just as thrilling until the Wildcat offense took advantage of a few Rivier defensive miscues in the seven run seventh.
Rivier took the slim 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when freshman Brandon Thibault (Methuen, Mass.) crossed the plate on a double to left center from senior Taylor Black (West Springfield, Mass.). The lead was short lived however as JWU answered right back in the sixth on a RBI single from Jordan Pilarski.
Senior Spencer Aguiar (Malden, Mass.) was charged with the loss as he allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits in his inning of work. Freshman Zachary Barboza (Westford, Mass.) was brilliant in relief with three innings surrendering only one run on three hits and striking out two.
Black finished the game going 3-for-4 with three RBI and sophomore Tyler Ferdinand (Middleboro, Mass.) added a pair of stolen bases on his 2-for-3 day at the dish.
Left-Hander Keith Grant spun a complete game effort for JWU as he allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and striking out four. Carlos Sanabria was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and Elkow chipped in with a 2-for-4 showing. Ryan Cabral also added a pair of RBI as he went 1-for-4.
Both teams will return to action on Tuesday evening in non-conference contests. The Raiders will welcome Eastern Nazarene College to Historic Holman Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. The Wildcats will also be on home turf as they host in-state foe Salve Regina at 4pm.
Rivier Game Notes: Senior Taylor Black tied assistant coach Aramis Velez '13 career hit record with his single in the second game. Both Black and Velez have 113.... Sophomore Tyler Ferdinand stole bases #22 and #23 as he continues his chase to the career record of 29 set by David Cusack '15... This is the second consecutive season in which the Raiders and Wildcats split both ends of the conference double-header.