Triple play ends no-hitter for Babson

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NORTHBOROUGH, Mass.—Senior Dillon Gonzalez drove in three runs, while senior Nick Malatos and first-year John Floegel combined on a no-hitter as Babson College defeated Keene State University, 5-1, in a rain-shortened five-inning contest at the New England Baseball Complex on Thursday afternoon.

With its fourth win in the last five games, Babson is now 6-5 on the year, while Keene State drops to 6-6 overall.

Gonzalez had a pair of hits and scored once for the Beavers. First-year Adam Ayala went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, while classmate Brett Ender singled and drove in a run in the win.

Ender put the Green and White in front 1-0 in the bottom of the second with a two-out double to right center to bring home sophomore Jack Halpin, who led off the frame with a double of his own. Keene State threatened in the top of the third inning as it loaded the bases with two outs, but Malatos induced an inning-ending groundout to escape the jam.

The Beavers extended their lead with a pair of runs in the third and two more in the fourth. Gonzalez and sophomore Kevin Murphyboth recorded RBI singles in the third, and Gonzalez delivered again in the fourth, driving in Halpin and sophomore Owen Shea with a two-out double to left to put the Green and White in front 5-0.

The Owls got a run back in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of three walks and a hit batsman by Malatos to open the inning. Floegel came on in relief and needed just one pitch to halt the rally though, as sophomore Trevor Chapin lined out to right field to start a 9-3-6 triple play to get Babson out of a jam. Sophomore Jacob Weiss  caught the sinking liner for the first out before throwing to first to retire junior Andy Johnson. Halpin then threw down to second where Ayala tagged the bag with senior Tanner Chase stuck between second and third to complete one of baseball's rarest feats.

The triple play was the final play of the game as heavy rains forced the game to be called.

Floegel earned his first collegiate victory in relief of Malatos, who allowed one earned run while striking out three and walking six without allowing a hit over four innings.

Junior Kevin Guild (Essex Junction, Vt.) fell to 1-1 allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out three in three innings for the Owls. Sophomore Jeff Lunn (Nashua, N.H.) came on to toss one inning of scoreless relief.

Babson returns to Northborough on Friday when it takes on WPI at 3:30 p.m., while Keene State travels to Rhode Island College for a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 12 p.m.

GAME NOTES: The no-hitter was the first for the Beavers since 1991 when Brian Juneau '93 held Clark without a hit in a 12-0 victory…the triple play was the second turned by Babson over the last two seasons…Murphy extended his hitting streak to 18 games going back to last season, which is good for the third-longest streak in program history…Gonzalez now has at least two hits in five straight games, and has driven in at least one run in nine of the last 10 games…Halpin has now hit safely in nine consecutive games to raise his average on the year to .511.