NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team completed its last regular season Monday with a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader against Eastern Nazarene College at the New England Baseball Complex—first edging the Lions 4-3 before falling 5-1 to split the twin bill.
SVC finishes the regular season at 14-16-1 with an 8-8 mark in league play. The Mountaineers captured the No. 5 seed in the Conference's postseason tournament and will head to ENC on Tuesday for a first-round play-in game against the fourth-seeded Lions; first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Southern Vermont is going back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
GAME 1: Southern Vermont 4 – Eastern Nazarene 3
After SVC tallied a lone run in the bottom of the first, the Lions tied it in the third. The 1-1 score lasted into the sixth when ENC pulled ahead with two runs, but the Mountaineers came right back and crossed the dish three times in the home half of the frame. Eastern Nazarene stranded a pair in the seventh for Southern Vermont to claim the victory.
Mountaineer sophomore shortstop Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) went 2-3 with a run scored while junior left fielder Brandon Lara-Mack (San Gabriel, Calif.) was 1-2 with a walk and a two-run homer.
SVC junior lefty Ryan Richardson (Pasadena, Md.) tossed all seven innings on the bump—giving up just one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out a pair in the win (3-4).
Southern Vermont got on the board when senior first baseman Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) singled up the middle in the top of the first with two aboard. The Lions would tie it up, however, with a run-scoring ground out to short in the top of the third.
Neither side could score over the next two innings, but ENC then broke the tie in the top of the sixth with a two-out, two-run home run to left.
SVC got one back right away in the bottom of the box as junior third baseman Kyle Liddy (Oriskany, N.Y.) led off the inning with his team-leading sixth home run of the year; that puts him just one shy of tying the program's record for the most in a season. After Guajardo singled to get himself on base, Lara-Mack sent a blast to left-center for the Mountaineers to pull ahead.
A walk and an error put two Lions aboard in the top of the seventh, but Richardson worked out of it for the Mountaineers to close out the win.
GAME 2: Eastern Nazarene 5 – Southern Vermont 1
ENC was up 4-0 by the end of the fourth, and the Lions added one more in the top of the fifth. SVC got on the board in the home half of the frame, but that would be it for SVC as the Lions salvaged the split.
Serrato went 2-3 with a walk, a double, and a run scored while freshman right fielder Jacob Villegas (Fontana, Calif.) was also 2-3.
Mountaineer right-hander Nick Gambardella (Hollywood, Calif.) threw a complete game—giving up four earned runs while striking out three in the loss (0-3).
An ENC run-scoring double in the third preceded a solo homer in the fourth, and the Lions then tallied an RBI triple and a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 4-0 ballgame at the end of the fourth. Another solo homer in the fifth put Eastern Nazarene on top by five—making Lara-Mack's RBI grounder to third inconsequential. SVC tallied just a lone hit through the final two frames for ENC to take the win.
– #LetsGoSVC –