Bison sneak past Rams in season opener, 7-6

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NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Nichols College baseball team opened the 2018 campaign with a 7-6 victory over Framingham State University on Saturday afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex in Northborough, Mass.
The Bison improve to 1-0 on the young season, while the Rams fall to 0-1. Nichols is back in action tomorrow afternoon when they take on Wheaton College in Northborough at 3:00 p.m.
Sophomore Christian Naccari went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while senior Nick Roy went 2-for-5 with three runs scored to lead the Bison. Senior Cam Cook and sophomore Kyle Bouchard each went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Bouchard also added an RBI.  Sophomore Payton Habeger added a 2-for-3 day with an RBI, with freshman Nathaniel Cormier going 1-for-3 with a run scored in his first career game.
On the mound, sophomore Andrew Charbonneau picked up the win in relief, allowing only one unearned run on four hits in four innings of work. Junior Danny Hayden earned a no decision in the start, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits with a strikeout in three innings. Senior Jackson White pitched a perfect eighth inning, with classmate Vincent Amato earning his first save of the year while giving up a run on two hits with a strikeout in the ninth inning.
Framingham State junior Aaron Williams led the Rams offense, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. Senior Cameron Borrelli and sophomore Anthony Venuti each went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Kevin Connolly suffered the setback for the Rams, allowing three unearned runs on a hit and five walks in two innings pitched. Senior Mike Andrews took a no decision, giving up four earned runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
After a pair of scoreless innings to start the game, Framingham State scored four times in the bottom of the third to break out to a 4-0 advantage. Aaron Williams got on base with a one-out single and worked his way over to third before coming home to score on an RBI groundout by Cameron Borrelli. The Rams put two more runners on via a double from Jordan Pallazola and a Bison error, and Pallazola came in to score on a failed pick-off attempt to make it a 2-0 game. Venuti then doubled the advantage with a two-run single to make it a 4-0 lead.
The Bison cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth as Cam Cook led off the inning with a single and later moved to third on a single by Nick RoyKyle Bouchard drove in the first run of the game for the Bison with a fielder's choice, and with Roy at third after another fielder's choice, Christian Naccari stepped in and singled through the right side to make it a 4-2 game.
The Rams got a single run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by single by Borrelli pushing the lead to 5-3.  The Bison cut the lead to one in the top of the sixth.  Back-to-back singles by Nick Roy and Bouchard gave the Bison runners on the corners with one out.  A fielder's choice scored Roy and Naccari followed with a two-run double to the gap in right center.

Nichols took their first lead, 7-5, in the top of the seventh as they scored three runs and capitalized on two Rams errors and three walks all with two outs.

The Rams had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth with Williams, who reached on an infield single, on and Pallazola at the plate with one out. Pallazola hit a long drive to center, but Roy made a great catch over the fence in center robbing Pallazola of homerun and keeping the Bison ahead by two.  Brockett delivered an RBI single with two outs plating Williams and moving the tying run to third, but a strikeout by Amato ended the game.
All-Time Series
Nichols and Framingham State have met 20 times in program history and the Rams lead the all-time series, 11-9. The Bison have won three of the last four matchups in the series.