NEWPORT, R.I.- The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team absorbed a 7-1 setback before suffering a narrow 5-4 loss game two of a conference twinbill at nationally-ranked Salve Regina Saturday afternoon.
The Lions slide to 10-16-2 on the season and 1-9 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the outcomes. The Seahawks, ranked No. 17 in the Collegiate Baseball/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Poll and No. 21 in the D3baseball.com/National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top 25, improve to 25-5 overall and remain atop the league standings with a 10-0 mark.
Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) posted four hits and drove in one RBI on the day. Devin Haberstumpf (Forest Hills, N.Y.) finished with three base knocks, one RBI, and one run scored. Zach Zaino (Falmouth, Mass.) chipped in with two hits and one RBI.
In game one, Salve Regina narrowly outhit Eastern Nazarene 8-6 to earn a 7-1 victory.
The hosts tallied four runs in the fourth inning to build up a 4-0 lead. Riley Fusaro singled to left to drive in Dylan Ketch from third. Brody Santilli followed with a sacrifice bunt that scored Christian Vargas from third base. Hunter Sleeper singled to left to plate Fusaro before crossing the dish on a double by John Militano.
The Seahawks scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to widen the gap to 7-0. Santilli tagged up and scampered home on a sacrifice fly by Sleeper. Colton Eremian and Alex Perry also chipped in with RBI base knocks in the inning.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 7-1. After Zachary Carmody (Babylon, N.Y.) roped a double to lead off the frame, Haberstumpf scorched a base hit up the middle to drive in the sophomore.
Xavier Faria (Assonet, Mass.) nearly tossed his first career complete-game as he pitched 5.2 innings and finished with one strikeout. Daniel Rivera (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) worked one-third of an inning on the mound in his fifth relief appearance of the season.
In the series finale, the home side rallied in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a 5-4 win.
Salve Regina seized a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning as Santilli smacked a triple down the left field line to knock in Zack Smith, Stephen Cirella, and Perry.
Eastern Nazarene responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to level the contest at 3-3. Haberstumpf scored from second base on a single to right off the bat off Matthew Urena (Flushing, N.Y.). Nick Story (Gilbert, Ariz.) motored home an infield hit by Zaino before Simpson lifted a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Urena.
The Lions chalked up the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh with two outs in the inning. Joshua Bombard (Rutland, Mass.) crossed the dish as Steven Pesce (Harrison, N.Y.) reached on a fielding error.
The Seahawks plated a pair of run in the home half of the seventh inning to stay unbeaten in conference competition. Eremian scored on a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Perry before Smith rounded third and scored on a one-out single by Vargas.
Ragan Cole (Alamogordo, N.M.) hurled six innings in his fifth start of the season on the hill. Zaino and worked the final frame in his fourth relief outing of the spring.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene is slated to return home to battle Wentworth in a key CCC doubleheader April 24.