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William & Mary edges Northeastern

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The William and Mary baseball team clinched a spot in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Tournament with a 7-5 victory against Northeastern at Plumeri Park on Thursday evening.

With the win, the Tribe improves its record to 35-13 and needs just three more victories to establish a single-season school record. Additionally, W&M has now won 19 of its last 22 games. The College also improves its record to 26-4 at Plumeri Park and is 12-1 against conference opponents at home.

Senior Tim Park came up big, as he helped the Tribe rally back from a late four-run deficit with a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning. Junior Ben Guez homered for the third straight game and finished the evening 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior Jeff Jones also hit a home run and went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, while senior Greg Maliniak extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a 2-for-4 effort.

Senior RHP Pat Kantakevich (5-2) earned the victory in relief, working 1.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

“It’s a big day in the development of our program, as we just missed making the conference tournament the last two seasons,” Head Coach Frank Leoni said. “Tim Park hit a huge home run, Tim Norton helped keep us in the game and Pat Kantakevich was dominant once again. Tyler Stampone had a great performance defensively, and some of his plays early in the contest helped keep us in the game. While earning a spot in the tournament is significant, we still have a long way to go.”

Northeastern (20-23-1, 9-15-1) took an early 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the first inning. Frank Compagnone and Mike Tamsin led off the game with consecutive singles. Although Tamsin was picked off at first, Frank Pesanello drove in the contest’s first run with a two-out RBI single to right.

The Huskies increased the lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Tamsin hit a two-out solo home run over the left field fence off a 1-1 pitch.

W&M got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning when Jones led off the frame with an opposite field home run over the right field fence.

NU answered with a run in the following inning to go ahead, 3-1. David Gustafson drew a one-out walk and advanced to third when he stole second and Park’s attempt to get him got away. Les Williams then drove him in with a single up the middle.

Northeastern extended its advantage to 5-1 with two more runs in the sixth. Tony Dicesare and Josh Porter led off the frame with consecutive singles, which brought Freshman Tim Norton for starting pitcher Pete Vernon. After Gustafson reached on a fielder’s choice, Dicesare advanced to third when Williams flew out to right. James Donaldson then plated a pair of runs with a double to left.

The College began its comeback in the bottom half of the inning when Guez hit a one-out solo home run to left off a 1-0 offering.

The Tribe narrowed NU’s lead to 5-4 with two more runs in the seventh. Maliniak led off the frame with a single through the left side, and Jones singled to right two batters later. Junior Lanny Stanfield then drove in a run with a single to left center, while classmate James Williamson followed with a RBI single to right.

W&M went ahead, 7-5, with Park’s three-run home run in the eighth. Guez led off the frame with an infield single, which brought Sheldon McDonald in for starting pitcher Kris Dabrowiecki. After Sheridan doubled to left center to put two runners in scoring position, Park hit the go-ahead blast over the left field fence.

The teams will play again on Friday at 7 p.m.

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