LANCASTER, Pa. – The Gallaudet University baseball team won its first North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game of the season in dramatic fashion Thursday on the road against Lancaster Bible College. GU won 17-16 in nine innings in the second game after the Bison lost 5-4 in the first game.
Gallaudet (12-13, 1-3 NEAC West Division) battled back in the second game after trailing 9-2 early. GU chipped away at Lancaster's lead and led 14-9 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Chargers (4-14, 2-4 NEAC West) scored four runs in the sixth to pull within one, 14-13. The Bison scored two additional runs in the top of the seventh before the Chargers roared back to knot the game at 16 in the bottom half of the seventh. The game went to extra-innings since doubleheader games are only slated for seven innings.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Bison recorded two quick outs before sophomore Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) reached base on a walk. Freshman Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) followed with a double to place two runners in scoring position. Freshman Austin McKenzie (Sulphur, Okla.) singled to score Guinn but Bensman was thrown out to end the inning. The Chargers went quietly in the ninth as Gallaudet left with the win.
Senior William Chapman (Los Angeles, Calif.) picked up the win as he pitched the final three innings.
GU sophomore William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) homered in the second game, his second home run of the season, as he finished the game 2-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBI. Five different Bison had three or more hits in the win led by junior Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.), who had four hits. GU also had seven doubles, one triple and one home run in the second game. Guinn (3-for-5) had two doubles and a triple.
Lancaster Bible senior Paul Greco (4-for-4) slammed three home runs in the second game as he scored four runs and drove in six RBI. Greco was a grand slam shy of hitting a home run cycle as he had a solo homer, two-run home run and three-run home run. Greco's other hit was a double but he suffered the loss on the mound for the Chargers as he hurled the final 2.2 innings.
In the first game, Gallaudet squandered a 3-0 lead as the Chargers came back to tie the game in the third inning and took a 4-3 lead heading into the fifth. GU was able to knot the game at four when sophomore Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) had a sacrifice fly to score freshman JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio). Lancaster scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by Richard Westerlund.
GU makes a return trip to Pennsylvania tomorrow (Friday, April 6) to take on Penn St.-Abington (13-13, 1-1 NEAC West) in a key conference doubleheader at 1 p.m. The Nittany Lions were the NEAC West Division tournament runners up last season.