WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Gallaudet University baseball team rallied late twice Wednesday to extend their winning streak to seven games at the RussMatt Invitational. Gallaudet scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) 3-2 in the first game. The Bison rallied again in game two as they scored three runs in the top of seventh to defeat the Trailblazers 7-6.
Gallaudet (7-5) would strike first in the game one vs. MCLA. A fourth inning triple by sophomore catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) brought in senior right fielder William Chapman (Los Angeles, Calif.) for the game's first run. The game remained scoreless until MCLA pushed across a run in the top of the seventh. The game entered extra innings knotted at 1-1.
In the extra frame, MCLA would take its first lead of the game, 2-1, thanks to a RBI by Rory Slattery. Gallaudet got a runner on base in the bottom of the eighth as junior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) drew a walk. Sophomore center fielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) also got on base due to a MCLA error. Chapman reached on an error that scored Barksdale to tie the game at two. Hicks singled to bring in Bissell to win the first game in dramatic fashion.
Hicks led the Bison offense as he drove in two runs, including the game-winning RBI. Bissell and freshman second baseman JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) each finished with two hits.
Senior pitcher Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) started the game for the Bison. He didn't factor into the decision despite pitching seven innings where he only allowed two runs on six hits, walked none and struck out two. Freshman pitcher Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) picked up his second win of the season as he pitched the eighth for the Bison where he walked one and struck out one.
Daniel Gaines (1-1) took the loss for the Trailblazers after pitching a complete game. Joe Duncan led MCLA as he drove in one run and went 1-for-4 from the plate.
In game two, Gallaudet struck first as it scored the first run of the game in the top of the first. Klein would score after a Bissell triple. MCLA tallied two runs in the bottom of the first to take the early 2-1 lead. There would be no runs scored until each team scored a run in the fourth. Sophomore third baseman Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) knocked in Hicks on a fielder's choice. MCLA answered when Slattery scored on a wild pitch.
The Trailblazers (3-4) took a 6-4 lead into the seventh and final inning after they scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Gallaudet came back in the top half of the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Barksdale and Bissell started the inning off for the Bison. Hicks singled to drive home Bissell and Barksdale as Hicks advanced to second base. Freshman Austin McKenzie (Sulphur, Okla.) kept the rally going with a single that brought in Hicks for the game-winning run.
Freshman pitcher Justin Wiener (Woodbine, Md.) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his first win of the season.
Slattery went 3-for-5, two runs and one RBI in the second game for Trailblazers. Jared Gersch went 1-for-2 and knocked in two runs. Rick Massey did not factor into the decision after pitching 5.1 innings. Cody Weaver (0-2) took the loss after an inning of work.
Gallaudet will wrap up the RussMatt Invitational on Thursday, March 15, when it will face Drew at 10 a.m.