BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – In 2000 a gallon of gas cost 96 cents and the current group of Johnson & Wales University freshmen had just been born. That was also John LaRose's first year as head coach of the Wildcat baseball team. Johnson & Wales defeated Bridgewater State, 11-2, on Thursday to give coach LaRose his 400th career victory.
Johnson & Wales: 18-16
Bridgewater State: 10-19
Armani Henderson (JWU): 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI
Joe Maracic (JWU): 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI
Colby Greenhalgh (JWJ): 4-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
LaRose is the third GNAC coach to reach the 400-win plateau. He joins St. Joseph's Will Sanborn and Suffolk's Cary McConnell as the only coaches to achieve the milestone.
Johnson & Wales put the game out of reach almost immediately with an eight-run second inning. The Wildcats sent 13 batters to the plate during the inning.
Left fielder Armani Henderson (Johnston, RI) got the scoring started with a single to score Edison Mercado (Providence, RI). Henderson capped the scoring when his two-run double plated Ryan Cabral (Scituate, RI) and Dave Matthews (Newtown, Conn.).
Outfielder Rob Ballinger (South Kingstown, RI) produced two of his three RBIs in the third and fourth innings.
Pitcher Lane Compton (Freeland, Mich.) gave up one unearned run on five hits in six innings with three strikeouts to get the victory.
All nine starters reached base and eight produced at least one hit. Rookie catcher Colby Greenhalgh (Plainfield, Conn.) led all players with a season-high four hits.
Johnson & Wales has its final conference doubleheader of the season when it plays host to Suffolk at 12 p.m. on Saturday.