AUBURNDALE, Fla. – A three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning capped by a two-RBI single by junior outfielder Brad Rebello (Bellingham, Mass.) helped Endicott baseball defeat Ill.-Wesleyan 9-7 in the 2017 RussMatt Invitational at Lake Myrtle Park. Rebello's go-ahead hit was part of a 4-for-4 performance at the plate that resulted in three RBIs and three runs scored.
Ill.-Wesleyan put up four runs in the top of the seventh, capitalizing on a two-RBI double down the left field line by Titans freshman first baseman Garrett Shea (Decatur, Ill.) and a rocket triple to deep center off the bat of junior third baseman Jake Stewart (St. Joseph, Ill.) that plated two more. Ill.-Wesleyan led 7-5 going into the bottom half of the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Endicott was able to cut the Titan lead down to one after Rebello singled up the middle to lead off the inning and junior left fielder Nick Berno (St. Albans, Vt.) followed with a hit to push Rebello over to third base with no outs. The next batter, junior second baseman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.), hit a fly ball to right field which allowed Rebello to cross home to make it a 7-6 game.
Gulls head coach Bryan Haley gave the ball to freshman Alex Zaiser (Naples, Fla.) in the top of the eighth and the power righty overcame a hit batsman to get out of the inning unscathed. The inning ended on a strike 'em out, throw 'em out as freshman catcher Ian Schmidt (Plymouth, Conn.) gunned down a Titan runner attempting to steal second base after a Zaiser punch out. Zaiser (1-0) would go on to earn the win.
After Endicott's three-run bottom of the eighth, Gulls graduate student reliever Nick Quattro (Canton, Conn.) earned his first save of the season by striking out two of the three batters he faced including the final out of the game.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- This was the first-ever meeting between Endicott and Ill.-Wesleyan.
- Rebello recorded his first four-hit game of his collegiate career and set a new career-best with three runs scored. He tied his previous best with three RBI also accomplished on March 20, 2015 in a 12-4 win over Amherst.
- DeDonato also recorded three RBI in today's win tying his career-high previous done on two other occasions.
- Junior Bailey Train (Cumberland, Maine) recorded his first collegiate hit with a RBI single in the fourth inning. He was a pitcher for the UMass Minutemen in the 2015 season.
- Endicott starting pitcher, freshman Alexander Mandrus (Acton, Mass.) went the first three innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
- Graduate student Corbin Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) got strikeouts on five of the six outs he recorded. His effort was part of a 15-strikeout game by Endicott pitchers.
FOR THE FOES
- Titans leadoff hitter, freshman centerfielder Nick Figus (Frankfurt, Ill.), hit a homerun off Mandrus on the second pitch he saw deep over the left field wall.
- Shea and senior catcher Pat Mollo (Naperville, Ill.) both had two hits to lead Ill.-Wesleyan. Shea knocked in two runners while Mollo scored one run.
- Ill.-Wesleyan got 5 1/3 innings from starting pitcher Jonathan Vik (Naperville, Ill.) who gave up five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
- All four Titan pitchers to see the mound had earned runs charged against them.
- The Titans had two stolen bases off Endicott pitching, one apiece for sophomore Jacob Houghton (Davenport, Iowa) and junior Gino Cavalieri (Western Springs, Ill.).
Endicott (4-1), winners of three of their four games at the RussMatt Invitational, face off against Little East Conference rival UMass Dartmouth on Friday afternoon for a doubleheader starting at 1:30 p.m. These games will be played at the Chain of Lakes complex in Winter Haven, Fla. Ill.-Wesleyan (6-3) continues their spring break trip with a single nine-inning contest against Babson on Friday starting at 4:00 p.m.