April 8, 2009
BABSON PARK, Mass. - Babson College senior co-captain Bryan Evans (Bellaire, Texas) capped off a monster day with a go-ahead three-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Beaver Nine past visiting Endicott College, 10-8, in a thrilling non-conference baseball game at Govoni Field on Wednesday afternoon. The victory snapped a three-game slide for Babson, which improved to 12-11 on the season, while the Gulls dropped to 7-15.
Evans was huge at the plate for the Beavers, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored, and six RBIs on the afternoon. It was the second-highest single-game RBI total of his career after his program record-tying seven against Eastern Nazarene last season. Sophomore Billy Besinger (Milton, Mass.) added two hits and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot, while first-year Sean Cleary (Milton, Mass.) walked three times and scored four runs in the two hole. Rookie Trevor MacNeil (Hanover, Mass.) earned the first collegiate victory (1-2) with one inning of relief, and junior Jake Bartlett (Weymouth, Mass.) got the final three outs to secure the save in the first pitching performance of his Babson career.
Freshman Benjamin Petrides (Belchertown, Mass.) went 2-for-3 with a triple, a run, and two RBIs to lead Endicott, while sophomore Roberto Zapata (Boston, Mass.) also recorded two hits and scored a run. Junior Matt Sharon (Wallingford, Vt.) tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Gulls, while junior Colin McGinn (Tolland, Conn.) suffered the loss to fall to 2-3.
Babson built an early 5-0 lead after three innings, with Evans knocking in three of the Beavers' runs. The veteran outfielder laced a two-run double to left in the first and later added an RBI single up the middle in the third. Sophomore Andrew Aizenstadt (Norwell, Mass.) also plated a run in the third, while Evans scored another run on a wild pitch.
Endicott scratched out a pair of runs on one hit and three walks in the fourth before Babson plated another run when first-year Travis Jonasson (Needham, Mass.) drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning. However, that would be it for the Babson offense until the eighth, as Sharon came on and kept the hosts off the board with 2 2/3 innings of outstanding relief. Meanwhile, the Gulls rallied with three in the sixth, highlighted by RBI singles from senior Brian Anderson (Grafton, Mass.) and Petrides, and one more in the seventh to tie the contest at 6-6.
A key hit and a controversial balk enabled the Gulls to grab two runs in the top of the eighth, as the visitors moved in front for the first time, 8-6. After sophomore Christopher Dominguez (Braintree, Mass.) reached with a one-out single, Petrides launched a triple off the wall in dead centerfield to give Endicott the lead. Then, with freshman Scott Worth (Londonderry, N.H.) at the plate, MacNeil was called for a balk after Petrides broke for home in a suicide squeeze attempt and the rookie southpaw appeared to step off the mound before throwing to the plate. Worth ended up bunting the throw home and reached first, but after a lengthy discussion was called back to the plate as Petrides was awarded home on the balk.
Trailing by two with one out in the bottom of the eighth, the Beavers caught a huge break when a tough hop off the infield grass turned a would-be groundout into a base hit to right for Besinger. Cleary followed with his third walk of the afternoon, and an error off a hard-hit ball by Aizenstadt loaded the bases for Evans. The Beavers' senior captain then hit a two-base rocket down the leftfield line, clearing the sacks and giving Babson a 9-8 lead. Evans would score moments later on another bad hop-turned-single off the bat of first-year Billy Miller (Sagamore Beach, Mass.), as the hosts took a 10-8 lead into the final frame.
After a lead-off walk to junior Aaron Santos (Cambridge, Mass.) to start the ninth, Bartlett came on for MacNeil in his first collegiate pitching performance. The junior righthander then induced a fly out to center, a groundout to second, and a strikeout to earn the save and secure the 10-8 comeback victory.