BRADENTON, Fla.- The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team overpowered Emerson Thursday afternoon to win both games of a doubleheader at McKechnie Field, the spring training home of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Eastern Nazarene Lions glided to a 20-1 victory in the opening contest before squeaking out a 5-4 win in the nightcap to jump to 5-3 on the spring. The Emerson Lions sink to 3-4 overall with the setbacks.
Rookie Zachary Carmody (Babylon, N.Y.) paced Eastern Nazarene with six base hits, four RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Brandon Wynne (West Haven, Conn.) notched three hits, drove in four RBIs, scored a run and stole a base. Nick Story (Chandler, Ariz.) finished with three RBIs, three runs scored, two hits and a stolen base. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) posted three base knocks, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) collected a pair of hits on the afternoon while crossing the dish four times and swiping two bags. Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) registered three base hits, two runs scored and an RBI while Jose Arebalo (Brentwood, N.Y.) scored four times and landed one hit.
The Lions' 20 runs in the win mark the most runs scored in a single game in program history since April 8, 2006 – a 22-0 thrashing at New England College.
Eastern Nazarene plated runs in all seven innings of game one, starting with three in the first frame to establish a 3-0 lead. Cameron Fiorentino (Uxbridge, Mass.), Kurt Picarelli (Montrose, N.Y.) and Wynne all picked up an RBI in the frame.
Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 7-0 with a four-run second inning. With the bases loaded, Wynne raked a bases-clearing double to left-center to drive in Arebalo, Fiorentino and Jeremy Wagner.
Eastern Nazarene chalked up three scores in the third to push its advantage to double digits, 10-0. Story singled through the right side of the infield to plate Justin Wagner from third. As Wynne reached base on an error, Story motored home before Arebalo crossed the dish on a wild pitch.
In the fourth frame, Eastern Nazarene tacked on four runs to extend its lead to 14-0. Justin Wagner and Story each landed RBI doubles in the inning and Jeremy Wagner scored as Fiorentino reached on an error. Story touched the plate for the Lions' 14th run of the game as he bolted home from third on a wild pitch.
Eastern Nazarene plated a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to stretch the margin to 16-0. After Carmody laced a lead-off double to left, Will Francis (Midlothian, Va.) doubled down the left field line to drive in Carmody from third base with two outs and later scored on a wild pitch.
Eastern Nazarene added two runs in the sixth to increase its cushion to a commanding 18-0 advantage. Carmody sliced a single to right to drive in Simpson from second. Justin Calloway (Moore, Okla.) crossed the plate as Anthony Misciagna (Massapequa, N.Y.) rolled a single back up the middle.
Emerson got on the board in the home half of the sixth inning, scoring once to cut the deficit to 18-1. CJ Rogers scampered home as Malcolm Kelner stole second base.
Eastern Nazarene capped off the scoring in game one with two runs in the seventh frame. With two away in the inning, Carmody roped a double to center to score Simpson and Brandon Imonti (Tewksbury, Mass.).
Brent Houle (Westfield, Mass.) turned in a dominant performance on the mound as he made his second start of the season. The sophomore tossed five innings of shutout baseball and recorded four strikeouts while surrendering three hits.
Rob Dukes (Spencer, Mass.) pitched one inning of relief in his second appearance of the spring. Andrew Ventura (Staten Island, N.Y.) hurled a scoreless frame in his first collegiate outing. Both relievers notched one strikeout in the game.
In the nightcap, Eastern Nazarene struck first with a run in the top of opening inning to seize a 1-0 edge. Jeremy Wagner rounded third and scored on a single to center off the bat of Simpson.
Eastern Nazarene tallied three runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 4-0. With two runners in scoring position, Justin Wagner laced a single through the left side of the infield to plate Carmody and Picarelli. Justin Wagner came around to score as Story lifted a sacrifice fly to right.
Eastern Nazarene tacked on a run in the seventh to widen the margin to 5-0. Arebalo scored from third as Carmody smacked his sixth base knock of the day, a double to left field.
Emerson rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to narrow the deficit to one, 5-4, with four runs. Jim Cain drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in Kyle Becker. Mitch Moorman crossed the dish on a wild pitch before Pablo Feldman poked a two-run single to right to score Rogers and Cain.
Fiorentino threw 6.2 innings in his second start on the hill this season and racked up nine strikeouts. Antonio Ortegon (Haltom City, Texas) recorded the final out of the contest in his team-leading third relief outing of the spring.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene wraps up play in the Sunshine State with a nine-inning affair against Carroll Friday, March 11.