Baseball: Pirates walk-off in extras
First baseman Michael Betz lined a fastball into left field, scoring outfielder Ryan Sullivan from third to win the Pirates’ longest game of the year, a 4-3 12-inning victory over Lafayette on Wednesday night at Owen T. Caroll Field.
Senior pitcher Henry Warner earned his second win of the year, throwing 2.2 innings, while surrendering two hits and striking out three batters.
“[The win] was good for Mike and it was good for our upperclassmen to really come through when called upon,” head coach Rob Sheppard said. “We had a couple of opportunities early, but its good to see guys answer the bell when it rings and the guys did a good job today.”
Junior Greg Turhune made the start for the Pirates. Turhune threw six innings in his second start of the year.
He had two hit-shutout baseball, at one point retiring 12 straight Lafayette hitters, before leaving the game after working out of a sixth inning jam.
“Greg did a tremendous job,” Sheppard said. “He kept them in check all game. He had a little bit of a challenge in the sixth inning and he faced it and got himself out, but he pitched tremendous.
After playing four and a half scoreless innings, the Pirates broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Freshman designated hitter D.J. Ruhlman led off the inning with a double. Sullivan, who was pinch hitting for sophomore Chris Selden, followed with a double of his own to score Ruhlman.
After second baseman Mike Genovese advanced Sullivan to third on a ground ball to first, shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio drove in the run on a ground out to third, to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead through five innings.
Lafayette came through in the eighth inning to take the lead.
Catcher Kevin McCarville laced a one out double to left center off of relief pitcher Connor Delepine.
Centerfielder Andrew Santomauro hit a single to advance McCarville to third. First baseman Brad Hopek hit a double to score McCarville and advance Santomauro to third.
After freshman pitcher Jose Lopez replaced Delepine, Lafayette second baseman James McCool laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Santomauro. Right fielder Andrew Ruck followed with an infield single to score McCarville and give Lafayette the 3-2 lead.
The Pirates responded in the bottom half of the eighth.
Papaccio led the inning off with a single to left. Then, with Papaccio trying to steal, freshman third baseman Kyle Grimm laced a single to right field to advance Papaccio to third.
Senior outfielder Will Walsh drove Papaccio in to score with a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game.
The game was scoreless for two innings until Lafayette built a bases loaded, no out threat in the top of the 10th inning.
Warner replaced reliever Ed Ras who walked two of the three batters he faced in the inning. Out of the bullpen, Warner struck out Ruck and got infielder Bobby Fargnoli to line out to right field to stop the threat.
In the top of the 11th, pinch hitter Matt Lerner hit an infield single to short with one out for the Lepards.
After shortstop Brian Davila struck out, McCarville singled to right field, but Lerner was thrown out at third trying to advance, leading up to Betz’s single to win the game.
“Anytime you find a way to win, it helps the ball club down the road,” Sheppard said. “We had a lot of these last year that I think payed some benefits as the season went on. Anytime you can win coming from behind, it’s a big win.”
The Pirates return to action on Friday night when they head to Stoors, Conn. to take on the defending Big East regular season champion Connecticut Huskies.
Tim LeCras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org