DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College baseball swept a doubleheader with Wentworth in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action Sunday afternoon at the Nichols Baseball Field. The Bison took Game 1, 8-2, before coming back in Game 2 to win, 8-7.
Game One: Nichols 8, Wentworth 2 (7 innings)
Senior Benjamin Harrow (North Reading, Mass.) drove in four runs and had a pair of doubles while sophomore StigErik McElhinney (Dracut, Mass.) pitched six strong innings as the Bison took Game 1 against Wentworth, 8-2.
Sophomore Ross Caswell (Randolph, Vt.) finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored while sophomore Greg Eng (Middletown, R.I.) finished with a pair of runs and drove in another.
The Bison jumped out to a 6-0 lead through three innings before the Leopards were able to scratch across two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Sophomore Tim Elrick (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI to pace Wentworth.
McElhinney pitched six innings while allowing two runs (both unearned) on four hits while walking four and striking out two. Freshman Chris Dipilato (Worcester, Mass.) came on to pitch a scoreless seventh.
Junior Aaron Denis (Dover, N.H.) pitched the complete game for the Leopards while allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits while walking three and striking out a pair.
Game Two: Nichols 8, Wentworth 7 (7 innings)
Sophomore Spencer Madden (Nashua, N.H.) reached base four times in the game and drove in three runs including a solo-homerun in the third inning to lead the Bison to a comeback win, 8-7, over the Leopards.
Nine student-athletes made up for the 13 hits for the Bison in the game. Sophomore Nick Roy (Middletown, Conn.) and Harrow both finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI while Roy scored two runs including the game-winner in the sixth inning.
Senior Sam McManus (Hopkinton, N.H.) finished 2-for-3 with two RBI's and a run scored while sophomore Bryon Kurcharski (East Haven, Conn.) and junior Christian Ferri (Bloomfield, N.J.) each scored a pair of runs to lead the Leopards.
The Bison led 6-3 through three innings before the Leopards tallied four runs in the fourth inning – including a 2-RBI single by sophomore Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.) – to take the lead 7-6.
Nichols was blanked the next two innings until Roy doubled in junior Matt Hardy (North Attleboro, Mass.) with one out in the sixth to even the score. Eng hit a sac-fly to center field to score Roy with runners at the corners and one out to put the Bison back in the lead.
Sophomore Kevin Kirley (Clinton, Mass.) picked up his conference-leading fifth save to secure the first win of freshman Tyler Crane (East Amherst, N.Y.) collegiate-career.
The Bison are now 3-3 against the Leopards under third-year head coach Nick Puccio.
"Winning the weekend is huge. Splitting with Salve was huge yesterday and then to be able to take two from a good Wentworth club is important. Our main focus is to always win the weekend. You don't want to jump ahead too often because you have to play two games, but winning the weekend is important to get into the conference tournament and potentially winning a conference tournament." – Nichols head coach Nick Puccio on finishing 3-1 over the weekend in conference-play
"Stig was really good today and gave us six solid innings. He has been great all year giving us three pitches and really competes for us." – Puccio on the pitching performance of McElhinney
"The game doesn't change…it doesn't matter if you are up 10 or down 10, you have to stay even keel. If you play the game that way then it will never speed up on you. Our guys have learned to battle and in that situation, we fell behind and we have been there before, but let's compete and let's battle back. It isn't going to be easy…we don't want it to be easy…and I think the boys have really embraced that." – Puccio on coming from behind to take Game 2
Nichols (11-9, 3-1 CCC) – Monday, April 11 vs Western Conn. St., 3:00 p.m.
Wentworth (6-13, 1-3 CCC) – Tuesday, April 12 at Becker, 4:00 p.m.