FORT PIERCE, Fla.- The Eastern Nazarene College baseball team split a twinbill with Hood Tuesday afternoon at Bob Gladwin Stadium. The Lions prevailed 5-4 in extra-innings in game one on a walk-off hit to snap the Blazers' 21-game winning-streak against non-conference opponents. Hood battled back to claim the nightcap 3-2 to salvage the doubleheader-split.
The Lions progress to 3-2 on the spring with the results while the Blazers move to 5-1 on the year.
Steven Pesce (Harrison, N.Y.) posted seven hits on the day to go with four RBIs, two stolen bases, and one run scored. Anthony Esposito (Mount Royal, N.J.) landed seven base knocks, scored three runs, and drove in one RBI. Connor Simpson (Haverhill, Mass.) registered four hits, five runs, four walks, one RBI, and one stolen base on the day. Matthew Urena (Flushing, N.Y.) finished with four hits and two RBIs. Joshua Bombard (Rutland, Mass.) chipped in with three base hits, three RBIs, and a pair of runs.
In game one, Eastern Nazarene triumphed over Hood 5-4 in extra-innings on a walk-off triple by Simpson in the ninth inning.
Eastern Nazarene grabbed an early 2-0 advantage, pushing across a pair of runs in the first inning. Esposito roped a triple to the fence in right field to drive in Simpson all the way from first base. Pesce lined a single to the gap in left-center to plate Esposito.
Hood tallied one run in the top of the second to cut the deficit to 2-1. Dylan Beck doubled to left-centerfield to knock in Brad Sawyer.
The Blazers leveled the score at 2-2 in the third frame with one run. Daniel Shepherd crossed the dish as Nathan Kessler hit into a fielder's choice.
The Lions reclaimed the lead with a score in the bottom of the fifth. Pesce laced a two-out single to drive in his second RBI of the contest as Simpson scored his team-leading fifth run of the spring.
Hood responded with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to snag a 4-3 edge. Andrew Wenner singled to left field to plate Sawyer from third base. Trent Copenhaver gave the Blazers the lead with a two-out base hit to score Wenner.
Eastern Nazarene walked off with its third consecutive win as it scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Simpson scorched a triple down the right field line to plate Josue Basilis (Bronx, N.Y.).
Morgan Weast (Cincinnati, Ohio) hurled 5.2 innings and struck out five batters in his collegiate debut. Tommy Merrick (Brockton, Mass.) worked one-third of an inning in his first relief outing of the season. Brenndan Rogers (Hanson, Mass.) tossed one inning and posted two strikeouts in his first appearance out of the bullpen this spring. Brent Houle (Westfield, Mass.) threw one scoreless inning in his fifth career relief appearance. Ryan Spina (Lake Grove, N.Y.) pitched a scoreless frame of relief in his first action of the year to pick up the win.
In the second contest of the series, Hood clipped Eastern Nazarene 3-2.
The Blazers manufactured one run in the bottom of the third inning to establish a 1-0 lead. Joe Kroeger rolled a single into left field to drive in Copenhaver from second base.
The Lions bounced back to knot the score at 1-1 with a run in the top of the fourth. Bombard laced an opposite-field base hit to left to plate Simpson from third base with two outs.
Hood produced a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth to jump back in front 3-1. Tanner Kohler roped a triple to right to score Beck before Kohler darted home on a sacrifice bunt by Copenhaver.
Eastern Nazarene sliced the deficit to 3-2 with a run in the sixth. Esposito rounded third and scampered home as Pesce raked a two-out single to left field.
Ben Petersen (Manchester, Conn.) tossed four innings in his first start of the season on the mound. Merrick made his second relief appearance of the day, pitching two innings and striking out two.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will take on Muskingum March 7.