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Vikings Outlast Wildcats 16-15

Vikings Outlast Wildcats 16-15

SALEM, Mass. - Zac Duval's (Middleton, Mass.) three-run double in the bottom of the seventh helped Salem State to a come-from-behind 16-15 eight-inning victory over Johnson & Wales on Wednesday afternoon at The Central Campus Baseball Field. The game was called due to darkness. The Wildcats had built a 10-3 lead, but nine runs over the final three innings helped the Vikings to a one-run victory. 

Brock Riley (Lowell, Mass.) earned the win in relief after pitching 1.2 scoreless innings, with one strikeout, and one hit allowed. Mike Oppenheimer (Carolina, PR) took the loss, going 1.2 innings, allowing three earned runs and four hits. The two teams combined to use 10 pitchers.

In the first inning, Colby Greenhalgh (Plainfield, Conn.) singled to center field and reached second base on an error. Vin Amalfitano (Massapequa, N.Y.) was then hit by a pitch. With runners on first and third, Tim Lombardi (Providence, RI) produced an RBI-single as Greenhalgh gave the Wildcats (9-4) an early 1-0 lead. Adam Diehl (Cypress, Texas) followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Amalfitano to put Johnson & Wales ahead 2-0.

Traverse Briana (Lynn, Mass.) singled in the bottom of the first. A stolen base and hit by Mike Griffin (Hudson, NH) advanced Briana to third. As Griffin was stealing second base, Briana came home to put Salem State (6-5) on the board.

With the bases loaded in the second, Amalfitano singled and Armani Henderson (Johnston, RI) made it home to push the lead to 3-1. With the bases loaded, Brian Smith came in to relieve starter Dylan McCormick (South Kingston, R.I.), who went 1.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits with four walks. Aidan Hagarty (Weed, Calif.) was hit by a pitch and Joe Maracic (Syosset, N.Y.) followed with a double to right field and Johnson & Wales comfortably led 6-1.

In the top of the third, with a man on second Alex Domingos (Ellington, Conn.) tripled to right field which allowed Henderson to score making it 7-1. A sacrifice fly by Domingos pushed the Wildcats ahead 8-1.

In the bottom of the third with a man on first and third, Briana's line drive to left field plated Shawn Rebello (Bellingham, Mass.) with the Vikings' second run. Griffin walked to load the bases. Matt Marquez (Salem, Mass.) flied out to center field and Christian Burt (Lynn, Mass.) tagged up making the score 8-3. Brendan Greene's (Winchester, Mass.) sacrifice fly cut the deficit in half. Johnson & Wales starter Steve Rocchio (Cranston, R.I.) lasted 4.1 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Salem State looked to get back in the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Burt and Briana both singled and then Griffin brought both runners home with a triple. Greene and Pat Fitzgerald (Auburn, Mass.) both added RBI-singles to make it 10-8. Rebello stroked a base hit to drive in another run as Salem State was only down one, 10-9. The Vikings then tied the game at 10-10 as Zac Duval (Middleton, Mass.) scored off a Burt single for Salem State's sixth run of the inning.

The Wildcats reclaimed the lead in the sixth when Rocchio singled to left field. Two more runs came in on two Vikings' errors as Johnson & Wales went back on top 13-10. A wild pitch then made the score 14-10.

Once again, Salem State came charging back. Fitzgerald and Luke Eggers (Duxbury, Mass.) each drove in a run with base hits to make the score 14-12. Rebello hit a sacrifice fly trimming the deficit to one run as the Wildcats still led 14-13 in the bottom of the sixth.

Rocchio's RBI-single in the seventh kept Johnson & Wales ahead 15-13.

However, with two outs and the bases full in the seventh, Duval cleared the bases with double to right field to put the Salem State on top 16-15.

Burt, Briana and Griffin all had three hits for Salem State. Duval finished 2-4 with three RBI while Greene had two hits, three runs and two RBI.

Maracic went 3-4 with three RBI and two runs for the Wildcats.Henderson  also had three hits with three runs scored.