Baseball Earns First Conference Win in Doubleheader Split at Nichols

Baseball Earns First Conference Win in Doubleheader Split at Nichols

DUDLEY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team split a league twinbill at Nichols Saturday afternoon to collect its first conference victory of the year. The Lions prevailed 5-4 in extra-innings before falling 12-4 in game two.

The Lions progress to 16-14 on the season and 1-9 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the decisions. The Bison move to 9-23 overall and 3-7 in league competition.

Zach Zaino (Falmouth, Mass.) racked up six base hits, four runs scored, a pair of RBIs, and a stolen base. Dylan Louviaux (Mohnton, Pa.) posted four hits and two RBIs. Anthony Esposito (Mount Royal, N.J.) finished with four base knocks and a run scored. Steven Pesce (Harrison, N.Y.) chipped in with three hits, three RBIs, and one run. Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) added two hits, one run, and one stolen base.

In game one, Eastern Nazarene edged Nichols 5-4 in extra innings to collect its first conference win of the year.

The hosts raced out to a 2-0 edge with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle Bouchard and Joe Assenza picked up back-to-back RBIs as Nick Roy and Cam Cook both crossed the dish.

The guests leveled the contest at 2-2 with two runs in the fourth. Zaino scampered home from third on a wild pitch before Louviaux laced a single to right field to drive in Pesce.

The Lions captured a 3-2 lead with a run in the sixth inning as Zaino belted his first home run of the season to centerfield.

Eastern Nazarene extended its advantage to 4-2 with one run in the top of the seventh as Esposito scored on a wild pitch.

Nichols knotted the score at 4-4 with two runs in the home half of the seventh frame. Nathaniel Cormier crossed the dish on a groundout by Cook. Bouchard followed with a base knock to plate Roy from third base.

The Lions reclaimed a one-run lead, 5-4, with a run in the eighth inning. After Zaino led off the frame with a single then stole second base, Pesce scorched a single up the middle to plate Zaino for the go-ahead run.

Brent Houle (Westfield, Mass.) pitched seven innings and struck out seven in his eighth start of the season. Alex Way (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Briley Seiter (Bellevue, Ky.) both made relief appearances.

In the second contest, Nichols finished with a 15-12 advantage in hits to claim a 12-4 win.

The home team produced four runs in the bottom of the first to establish a 4-0 lead. Bouchard singled to right to drive in Roy. Chris Anderson poked a single to centerfield to knock in Bouchard. Christian Naccari followed with a base knock to score Assenza from third.

The visitors got on the board in the second to cut the deficit to 4-1. Louviaux raked a double to the gap in right-center to plate Joshua Bombard (Rutland, Mass.) from first base.

Nichols tallied two runs in the bottom of the frame to push its lead to 6-1. Cook and Bouchard notched back-to-back RBI base hits to drive in Cormier and Roy.

The Lions responded with one run in the third inning to trim the margin to 6-2. Zaino hooked a double down the left field line to knock in Zachary Carmody (Babylon, N.Y.).

The Bison reclaimed a five-run edge with one run in the home half of the third, 7-2. Anderson crossed the dish as Riley Parent reached on an error.

Eastern Nazarene scored twice in the fifth to pull to within three, 7-4. Pesce roped a double down the right field line to plate Simpson and Zaino.

Nichols plated one run in the fifth to extend its advantage to 8-4. Roy flared a single down the right field line to drive in Naccari from second.

The hosts exploded for four runs in the sixth to reach double-digits on the scoreboard, 12-4. With the bases loaded, Alexander Stroshine hammered a bases-clearing triple to score Parent, Naccari, and Assenza. Cormier followed with a base hit to left to drive in Stroshine.

Xavier Faria (Assonet, Mass.) tossed 1.2 innings and fanned one in his second start on the mound. Seiter worked 4.1 innings in his second relief outing of the day and registered one strikeout.

Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene visits Gordon April 22.