April 3, 2012

Bears Fall at Babson

BABSON PARK, MASS.--(4/3/12)--Junior Pat Matvichuk went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and junior Billy Hocking added three hits and three RBIs as Babson earned a 6-3 victory over the visiting United States Coast Guard Academy in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) baseball matchup at Govoni Field.

With their third victory in four games, the Beavers improved to 10-9 overall and 6-4 in league play, while Coast Guard dropped to 10-13 overall and 4-6 against NEWMAC competition.

Babson jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, beginning when Hocking laced a one-out double to right-center. He then moved to third on a groundout by senior captain Travis Jonasson and scored when junior Chris Kucher hit a clutch two-out single down the left field line. The Beavers then scored another two-out run in the second, as junior John Botelho singled to right, moved to third on a single by Matvichuk, and scored when Matvichuk got caught in a run-down between first and second.

Babson would threaten to break the game open in each of the next two innings, loading the bases with one out in each frame. However, Bears' junior starter James Diddell escaped unscathed in the third and then held the hosts to just one run on an RBI-fielder's choice by Hocking in the fourth as Babson held a 3-0 lead after four.

The Beavers' fourth run of the game came in the sixth, as Matvichuk doubled off the wall in right, moved to third on a groundout by first-year Dillon Gonzalez, and scored on an RBI-single to left by Hocking. That run would prove key one inning later, as Coast Guard plated three runs to cut its deficit to one. After junior Ed Sella and sophomore Dave Wolinski started the inning with back-to-back singles to chase junior reliever Brian Swanton, senior Eddie Kalankiewicz worked a walk off senior Rick Gilbody to load the bases. Gilbody would bounce back to strike out the next two batters, but a wild pitch enabled Sella to score from third and junior Eric Gerken followed with a two-run single to center as the Bears pulled to within one, 4-3.

Coast Guard had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the top half to reach third with only one away. However, Gilbody pitched out of the jam, fanning Sella and inducing an inning-ending popout to first off the bat of Wolinski to preserve Babson's one-run lead.

The Beavers added two huge insurance runs in the home half of the eighth. Matvichuk singled, stole second, and scored on a double into the right field corner by Gonzalez for Babson's fifth run of the contest, and Hocking following with an RBI-single to left center to make it a 6-3 affair. Coast Guard would manage to bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth, but Gilbody got junior pinch-hitter Mike Massaro to fly out to right to end the ballgame.

Swanton (1-2) earned the win in relief of Beavers' senior starter Jeff Buress, who left with an injury after 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Swanton went the next 3 1/3, allowing two runs on three hits, walking two and striking out three, before Gilbody came on and tossed the final three frames, giving up one run on two hits, walking a pair and striking out three to earn his first save of the season. Matvichuk finished with a game-high four hits, Gonzalez joined Hocking with three hits, and Botelho had one hit and scored twice.

Diddell (1-1) shouldered the loss for Coast Guard, allowing four runs on 10 hits, walking two and fanning three in six innings of work. Junior Will Shuttleworth got the final six outs for the Bears, allowing a pair of runs on four hits while striking out one. Gerken and Wolinski each had a pair of hits in defeat for the visitors, with Gerken driving in two runs.

These two teams will lock horns again tomorrow afternoon, this time in New London as Coast Guard hosts the second of three regular season games between the squads at 3:30 p.m.

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