BANGOR, Maine - The Husson University Eagles (26-15) fell to the Bearcats of Baruch College (16-17), 5-3, in Game One of the 2019 best-of three NAC Baseball Championship Series on Saturday afternoon on The Harold Alfond Diamond at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Eagles broke the 0-0 deadlock in the bottom of the fourth with a single run off one Bearcat miscue. With two outs, Alex Chapman was issued a walk by Paul Sirakowski, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored after Sirkowski threw the ball into center field trying to pick off Chapman at second.
Baruch responded quickly when they plated four in the top of the fifth off three hits and one Eagle miscue. Kemal Deljanin led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a Michael McGroarty single down the third base line, but ended up at third after an Eagle throwing error. Liam O'Gara walked to load the bases for Gerardo Roque, who ripped an RBI single to left field, scoring Deljanin with the Bearcats' first run of the game. Back-to-back fielder's choices by Angelo Alessandro and Davic Capellan plated McGroarty and O'Gara before Alessandro crossed the plate on a single down the left field line off the bat Jorge Mercado making the game 4-1.
The Bearcats tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Alessandro scored thanks to a Nicholas Valeriano RBI single to center field.
Husson started their comeback attempt in the bottom of eighth inning with a single run off two hits and a Bearcat miscue. Ethan Stoddard hit an one out single to third base, advanced to second on a Bearcat throwing error and later scored on a two-out pinch hit double to right center by Brandon Smith.
Following Ben Bernier's scoreless top of the ninth, the Eagles picked up right where they off in the previous inning when Nick Guerrette singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Guerrette moved up to second on a hard-hit comebacker by Conor Maguire before advancing to third on a Bearcat fielding error, while Kobe Rogerson reached base on the Bearcat miscue. Guerrette then scored on a David LeBlanc sac fly to cut the Baruch lead down to two. After Stoddard was issued a two-out walk, the Eagles brought the winning run to plate in Luke Covey, but Nicholas D'Angelo got Covey to strike out swinging for the game's final out.
ON THE MOUND:
Jesse Colford (7-3) took the loss for the Eagles after pitching six innings, allowing five earned runs off seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Bernier pitched the final three innings in relief, yielding just two hits and a walk with two punchouts.
Sirakowski (5-1) pitched eight solid innings to earn the victory for the Bearcats. He allowed two unearned runs, ten hits and four walks to go along with his four strikeouts. D'Angelo allowed one hit, one unearned run and one walk with one punchout in one inning of work to earn this third save of the season.
OFF THE BAT - HUSSON:
- Rogerson extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-4 day, while adding a double.
- Guerrette went 2-4 with a run scored.
- Chapman was a perfect 1-1 on the day with a double, a run scored, a stolen base and three walks.
OFF THE BAT - BARUCH:
- Valeriano was 2-4 with an RBI.
- O'Gara went 2-3 with a run scored.
- Alessandro finished the game with a 1-2 day, while adding a double, a stolen base, an RBI and two runs.
The Eagles and the Bearcats will return to the diamond tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for game two of the 2019 best-of three NAC Baseball Championship Series. The Eagles will need to defeat the Bearcats twice on Sunday to earn the program's first NAC Championship since the 2013 season and the first berth into the NCAA Championship Tournament in since the 2011 season.