HENNIKER, N.H. – Southern Vermont College picked up a huge pair of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) baseball wins at Laurie Cox Field Sunday afternoon as the visiting Mountaineers defeated New England College 11-4 and then 10-5.
The sweep helped SVC end a six-game losing streak and could potentially play a big, tie-breaking role in the league's playoff seeding.
Southern Vermont (8-14-1, 3-7 NECC) is back in action on Wednesday with a 4 p.m. non-conference tilt at Williams College.
GAME 1: Southern Vermont 11 – New England College 4
The Mountaineers never trailed in the opener after using a four-run second to go ahead 5-0. SVC chalked up five runs in the fourth and added a lone run in the sixth for good measure. NEC was held to just the four runs despite racking up 10 hits.
Southern Vermont junior left fielder Brandon Lara-Mack (San Gabriel, Calif.) went 2-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored—both of his hits going for extra bases. Senior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) was 1-2 with three walks and three runs scored while senior first baseman Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) was 1-3 with two walks, two runs batted in, and one run scored.
Mountaineer senior righty Ryan Richards (Beaumont, Calif.) remained undefeated from the mound as he improved to 3-0 on the season; he went all seven innings and struck out three in the victory.
Stacey started the game with a single up the middle, and he would move around the diamond with the help of two wild pitches and a throwing error by the Pilgrim catcher. Southern Vermont then put up four runs in the second—two coming around on a Serrato single to right.
NEC would get three runs to cross by the end of the third inning to make it a 5-3 difference, but the Mountaineers quickly extended their lead to seven in the fourth. A bases-loaded walk and ensuing sacrifice fly brought in the first two runs of the frame before Lara-Mack cranked his third homer of the year to left—that being a three-run dinger which made it a 10-3 lead for the visitors.
New England plated one in the home half of the fourth, but SVC got it back in the sixth. Richards got the Pilgrims to strand three runners over the last two frames as he closed out the complete-game win.
GAME 2: Southern Vermont 10 – New England College 5
SVC broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a big, seven-run inning. NEC answered by scoring three times in the home half of the frame before adding two more in the fifth to get within a pair. The Mountaineers would garner three insurance runs in the seventh, however, to pad their cushion en route to the sweep.
Stacey went 2-3 with two walks, two RBIs, and a run scored while sophomore shortstop Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) was 1-3 with a walk and two runs batted in. Senior third baseman Cody Sullivan (Brunswick, N.Y.) and sophomore second baseman Zac Cronk (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) were both 1-4 with two runs scored in the win.
Junior righty Kyle Liddy (Oriskany, N.Y.) moved to the hill and tallied a season-best six strikeouts through 6.2 innings of the victory (2-1).
SVC got on the board in the fourth when the Mountaineers took advantage of two Pilgrim errors while working a pair of bases-loaded walks to make it 5-0. Guajardo then sent a two-run double to left for what ended up being the game-winning scores.
New England would get three back in the bottom of the box before notching two more in the fifth. That would be it for the Pilgrims' offense, however, as NEC stranded four runners on base through the final two innings. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Southern Vermont freshman righty Joseph Ruelas (Rowland Heights, Calif.) came in and recorded a two-pitch save—that being the first of his collegiate career.
– #LetsGoSVC –