AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Endicott baseball team won a pair of Friday games at the RussMatt Invitational over Benedictine (Ill.) and Oswego State to improve to 4-2 overall on their spring break venture to Central Florida. The Gulls will spend their final day down south Saturday and play Elmhurst with first pitching coming at 4:00 pm.
Game One: Endicott 11, Benedictine (Ill.) 3
Behind five strong innings from starting pitcher senior Tyler Hill (Las Vegas, Nev.), four relief frames from sophomore Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass.), and four RBIs from senior outfielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.), Endicott won game one of their Friday doubleheader at Lake Myrtle Park. Hill earned the win by allowing one earned run on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Nova came on to earn the four-inning save, allowing the final two runs on four hits with two punch outs.
Gold helped Endicott build a 2-0 leaddd in the bottom of the first with first of his four RBIs that came on a double to left field, scoring Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.). Gold would later score on an EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) single through the right side of the infield to make it 2-0.
Gold's two-RBI single up the middle capped off a five-run bottom of the sixth that expanded the Blue and Green's lead to 8-2. He would tack on another RBI in the bottom of the 8th on his second double of the game, this time to right center to score Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.).
Martinez had a 4-for-5 day at the dish with two runs scored, two RBIs, and two stolen bases as the team's designated hitter. Oringer knocked in a pair of runs as well and crossed home plate twice himself. Paola went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and a RBI. Both Oringer and Paola recorded a stolen base as well.
Game Two: Endicott 5, Oswego State 4
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the 8th inning to the Lakers, Endicott produced a two-out rally that resulted in three runs scored to give the Gulls the lead and sophomore lefty Corbin Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the 8th, Morganelli hit a single up the middle to plate senior first baseman Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass.) to make it a 4-3 game. Pinch hitter Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) walked to load the bases and on the ensuing play, a fielding error by the Oswego shortstop on a ball batted by Conor Ressel (Rockport, Mass.) allowed the game-tying and go-ahead runs to score.
Now trailing Endicott 5-4, Oswego put runners on first and third with just one out. The Gulls, however, were able to escape the jam by throwing out the runner going from third to home on a ground ball for the second out and watching Hyde strike out the final batter of the inning.
Endicott went down quietly in the top of the 9th, but Oswego looked to push the game to extra innings by putting the game-tying run on second base with two outs. Hyde recorded his third strikeout to end the game to earn his first victory of the season.
Endicott's JJ Branch took the mound for the second time this week after shutting down Keene State in the team's season opener. Branch allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and three walks in six innings of work while taking a no-decision. Offensively, Gold went 2-for-5 in the game with a stolen base but Morganelli came up big with a RBI and two runs scored. Oringer and Ressel also recorded RBIs in the come-from-behind victory.