Northeastern, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Coastal, and Temple pick up wins

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

Northeastern 8 URI 6

Junior Frank Pesanello hit what was the eventual game-winning, pinch-hit, three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to guide the Northeastern University baseball team to an 8-6 victory over the Rhode Island Rams at Bill Beck Field in Kingston, Rhode Island on Tuesday evening.

Pesanello’s homer was his sixth of the season, putting him second on the team behind captain Mike Lyon, who has eight on the season. Lyon, who has been anchoring the Husky attack all season, led the team with three hits, including two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.

The freshman tandem of Teddy Zentek and Ryan Maguire each went 2-4 on the day, while sophomore Frank Compagnone smacked a three-run homer, his third on the season, to give the Huskies their first lead of the game in the fourth inning.

Sophomore Sheldon McDonald picked up the win after tossing 2-2/3 scoreless innings in relief, improving to a team-best 4-1 on the season. Junior Dan Zehr finished the game by tossing a scoreless ninth to tally his third save of the season. Freshman Les Williams started the game for the Huskies, giving up six runs in 5-1/3 innings to go along with one walk and four strikeouts.

The Huskies improved to 9-8 on the season with the win, while the Rams dropped to 6-13. Northeastern will be back in on Friday when the team opens a three-game series at Georgia State First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Southern Illinois 3 Eastern Illinois 1

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Bret Maugeri drew a bases loaded walk to plate the go-ahead run with two outs in the ninth, as Southern Illinois University (11-8) hung on for a 3-1 win over Eastern Illinois (8-10) earlier today at Coaches Stadium.

The game was tied 1-1 when Maugeri worked EIU reliever Tyler Brandon for a 3-2 count before walking in Lou Johanns from third.

Aaron Roberts then delivered Scott Foley’s first pitch into left field to score Adam Hills and clinch the 3-1 win for the Dawgs. Both runs were unearned, as a EIU error kept the inning alive just before Maugeri’s walk.

Saluki true freshman left-hander Nick Rice pitched a gem, despite not getting credit for the win.

In just his second start of the season, Rice allowed only three hits, struck out two , gave up just one run and walked none in seven innings.

Rice retired 10 in a row to start the game before giving up two hits and his only run in the fourth. Following Alex Gee’s two-out hit in the fourth, Rice proceeded to sit down nine more Panther hitters prior to his exit in the seventh.

“Nick pitched a great game for us,” said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. “His command was good and he did an excellent job locating his pitches.”

Daniel Wells (2-0) relieved Rice in the eighth and tossed two scoreless, no-hit innings to earn the win. Wells retired five of six and pitched a perfect ninth.

Brandon (2-2) suffered the loss for EIU. He gave up one hit and two runs, walked four and struck out four in 3.2 innings.

Offensively, SIU left a season-high 13 runners on base, but stepped up when it needed to. The Salukis scored all three of their runs with two outs.

SIU had just six hits on the day, with two each coming from Maugeri and Roberts. Hills and Johanns followed with one apiece. Hills returned to the lineup after missing SIU’s last two games with a sore back.

Curt Restko, Gee and Jordan Kreke combined for EIU’s silent three hits.

The Salukis snapped EIU’s five-game winning streak with their late rally in the ninth.

SIU returns to Carbondale to host Tennessee-Martin Wednesday at 2 p.m., CST. David Kington (1-0) will start on the mound.

Kentucky 5 Xavier 2

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Seven of nine position starters contributed a hit – including a 2-for-2 day from senior Ryan Wilkes – to lead the No. 8 Kentucky baseball team to a 5-2 win over the Xavier Musketeers, on a windy day at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (21-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) got multi-hit performances from Wilkes and senior catcher Tyler Howe, as well as doubles from preseason All-American outfielder Collin Cowgill and third baseman Chris McClendon. Sawyer Carroll, Troy Frazier and Chris Bisson each added hits, with Carroll extending his hit streak to a team-high seven games.

On the mound, UK got two innings from sophomore starter Clint Tilford, before Tyler Henry relieved him, tossing 4 1/3 innings to pick up his first win of the year. Henry struck out six, allowing only two hits, walking three Musketeers. Senior right-hander Aaron Lovett, the league leader in SEC saves in 2007, notched his first save of the year, working the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out one and not allowing a base runner.

Xavier starter Tom Shirley lasted six innings, allowed four runs, walked two and struck out four. Joe Kohler worked the final two frames, allowing two hits and one run.

Kentucky returns to action on Friday, traveling to No. 7 South Carolina for a crucial SEC road series. First pitch at Sarge Frye Field on Friday is set for 7 p.m. ET and the series will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio). Fans in Lexington can catch the action on WLAP 630-AM or in Louisville, on WKJK 1080-AM.

For the year, UK has compiled impressive offensive and defensive figures, batting for a .354 average and outscoring opposition, 233-67. On the mound, UK ranks as the only team in the SEC to have a sub-3.00 ERA, posting a 2.35 ERA in 203 innings, striking out 202. The Wildcats are on pace to score 687 total runs in a 56-game schedule, a total that would shatter the school record for runs scored in a season, set in 2006 with 500 runs scored in 61 games.

UK opened its season on Feb. 23 with a 10-1 win over Xavier at the Coca-Cola Classic in Mobile, Ala. Last Thursday, the Wildcats earned a 12-1 win over the Musketeers, courtesy of five home runs – including two from Spear. UK leads the all-time series with the Musketeers 27-8, claiming the past eight meetings.

Kentucky got on the board in the first inning, as Wilkes ripped a leadoff single up the middle. Cowgill followed getting hit by a pitch and Brian Spear sacrificed him over with a bunt on a bang-bang play that drew the first baseman off the bag. Shirley misfired on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt, scooting past Tyler Aholt, the Xavier backstop, and allowing Wilkes to score from third on a wild pitch.

Xavier got on the board in the top of the second, plating two runs on three hits and a Wildcat error. Dan Hayden led off with a single through the left side and Aholt laid down a sacrifice bunt to first base, forcing Spear to field the grounder and fire an underhand toss to Tilford, covering first base. Tilford fielded the ball but had it scoot out of his glove, for a fielding error. Phil Bauer followed, ripping a double down the right-field line, scoring Hayden. Drew Schmidt scored Bauer, with a single through the right side, making it 2-1 Xavier.

UK regained the lead in the bottom half of the fourth, plating two runs on four hits. After Spear struck out to lead off, Carroll ripped a single up the middle and stole second base, his fifth steal of the year. Chris McClendon followed, ripping a double down the left-field line, scoring Carroll. Frazier added his 19th RBI of the season, connecting on a slow breaking pitch from Shirley up the middle, scoring McClendon.

In the seventh, UK added two runs to extend its lead to 5-2. Howe ripped a single to centerfield, and Wade laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Howe into scoring position. Bisson, UK’s freshman second baseman, ripped a single through the right side, moving with Howe into scoring position on a wild pitch. With Howe on third, Wilkes lofted a sacrifice fly into centerfield, scoring the senior backstop. Cowgill, who ranks third on the team with 27 RBI, followed, ripping a high-hoping double down the left-field line, scoring Bisson. On the year, Cowgill has tallied a team-high tying 10 doubles. Wade, a fellow Lexington native, also has totaled 10 two baggers on the season.

Coastal Carolina 5 The Citadel 1

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (19-4) allowed only four hits and struck out six, while three runs in the last two innings gave the Chanticleers insurance in the 5-1 win over The Citadel (14-8) March 25 at Riley Park.

Coastal quickly jumped on the board in the top of the first. Junior David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) doubled to left to lead off the game. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Adam Rice (Murphy, Texas/Elgin C.C.) and scored on a sacrifice fly from junior Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway). The Bulldogs’ half of the first was similar to the top half. Chris Swauger doubled to open the frame. He moved to second on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sonny Meade.

With one out in the fourth, Doyle singled through the right side. Junior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) then hit a shot over Swauger’s head in center field for his first triple of the season, scoring Doyle.

Coastal manufactured two runs in the eighth. Junior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Senior Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) laid down a sacrifice bunt and was safe on an error by Raymond Copenhaver. Both runners moved a base on a failed pickoff attempt by Copenhaver and both scored on a single from Rice, making it 4-1 Coastal.

Coastal added a run in the ninth. Freshman Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) singled to the pitcher with one out. He moved to third on a single from sophomore Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s). Woodward laid down a successful safety squeeze, scoring Noel.

Wheeler earned the win for the Chants, going 5.1 innings and allowing just four hits and one run. Wheeler also struck out three Bulldogs. Senior Joey Haug (Holt, Mo./Maple Woods C.C.) earned his second save, striking out three and not allowing a hit in 3.2 innings. Talley earned the loss for The Citadel despite giving up only four hits and two runs in seven innings.

Iglesias had two hits for the Chants, while Rice drove in two runs. For the Citadel, Swauger was 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Coastal hosts UNC Wilmington Wednesday, March 26 in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field at 6 p.m. The game is a makeup of the rainout March 4.

Temple 10 La Salle 8 (Liberty Bell Classic)

AMBLER, PA (3/25/08) – Temple scored eight unanswered runs, all with two outs, to notch a 10-8 come-from-behind victory over city-rival La Salle in the quarterfinals of the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday at Skip Wilson Field. Trailing 8-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Owls scored five runs in the inning and added three more in the seventh to win their sixth straight game. Junior Sean Barksdale (Glenolden, PA / Cardinal O’Hara) had three hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs.

“It’s always going to be a tough game against La Salle,” Barksdale said. “We just came out today and showed that being down 8-2 wasn’t going to rattle us. That’s the kind of team we are right now.”

“I was proud of our guys the way we fought back today,” head coach Rob Valli said. “With the type of hitters we have, if we can hang in there for nine innings, we have a chance to score double-digit runs like we did today.”

La Salle broke open a 1-0 ballgame with three runs in the fifth on a TJ Chism home run and sandwiched Barksdale’s first longball of the season with four more runs in the sixth to make it 8-2. Unfortunately for the Explorers, the lead would not last much longer.

The Owls (11-7) sent ten batters to the plate in the inning and scored all five runs with two outs. They would have had more if the frame had not ended on a controversial fielder’s choice play at second base.

Junior Carmen Del Mastro (Philadelphia, PA / Roman Catholic) started things off with a single up the middle and classmate Jamie Abercrombie (Ambler, PA / Hatboro-Horsham) followed with a walk. Senior Tom Dolan (Bensalem, PA / Archbishop Ryan), into the game as a substitute, singled to center to load the bases. After a pop-up for the second out, Barksdale singled to short to score two runs as the throw sailed into right field.

Sophomore Matt Heltz (Garyville, LA / St. Charles Catholic) then ripped a RBI single to right to score Dolan and move Barksdale to third. A wild pitch plated Barksdale to make it 8-6 and senior Mike Kelch (Annandale, VA / WT Woodson) reached on an error to drive in Heltz and cut the deficit to one.

Sophomore Matt Blackburn (West Chester, PA / Gloucester Catholic-NJ) got out of a jam in the seventh and picked up the win to improve to 2-0 as the Owls scored three in the bottom of the inning.

Del Mastro again started the rally as he drew a walk and moved to second on Abercrombie’s sacrifice bunt. He advanced to third on a ground-out and tied the game when Barksdale laced a single up the middle. After a walk to Heltz, Kelch came up big with a two-run single to left to give Temple a 10-8 lead.

Sophomore Ryan Thomas (Aliquippa, PA / Center) relieved Blackburn with runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. He needed only two pitches for two outs to retire the side and senior Arshwin Asjes (Willemstad, Curacao / Cheverus-ME) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his fourth save.

“We’ve settled into a recipe of Blackburn to Thomas to Asjes and that’s been giving us a chance to hold leads late in games,” Valli said.

Heltz, Kelch and junior Kyle Obal (Derwood, MD / Sherwood) all had a pair of hits for the Owls. Temple has now won six straight games, the longest since the 2004 team won seven from March 25-April 6.

“Everyone has confidence in each other,” Barksdale said. “When someone isn’t on, his teammate picks him up.”

The Cherry and White advance to the semifinals of the Liberty Bell Classic for the second straight season and will play Lehigh, a 3-2 winner over Villanova, on Tuesday, April 1 at a site to be determined. The winner of that game will play the victor of the Delaware-Lafayette game on Tuesday, April 8 at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. TU is making back-to-back LBC semifinal appearances for the first time since 2002 and 2003.

“Both teams are going to be anxious to have a chance to play at Citizens Bank Park in the championship game,” Valli said. “We look forward to a good game.”

Chism tripled, homered and knocked in four runs for La Salle (4-19). Joe Vincent (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing two earned runs in 0.1 innings of work.

Temple is back in action on Wednesday when it visits Monmouth. First pitch is set for 3 PM. Fans can follow the action with live statistics or video streaming at www.gomuhawks.com.