WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – In their final game of the 2017 RussMatt Invitational, the Endicott baseball team was defeated 6-4 at the hands of Clarkson at the Chain of Lakes Sports Complex. Endicott dropped to 5-3 overall on the season and concluded their spring break week 4-3 down south.
Endicott and Clarkson went back-and-forth in this game, exchanging the lead three times until the Knights put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a lead they would not relinquish. In that inning, Clarkson senior centerfielder Dom Pirro (Liverpool, N.Y.) doubled home leadoff man Will Coleman (Potsdam, N.Y.) to tie the game at 4-4. Pirro would steal third base to get 90 feet from home and with two outs, freshman designated hitter Cam Bando (Wakefield, Mass.) hit a slow groundball to third base for in an infield single to score the runner from third.
Knights starting pitcher, senior lefty Ted Wilson (Lancaster, N.Y.), pitched his sixth and final frame and set down the Gulls 1-2-3 to preserve his team's lead. Wilson (1-0) finished Clarkson's season opener with four runs allowed, two earned, on nine hits with zero walks.
Clarkson tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of a wild pitch that scored sophomore Mike Bonk (Northborough, Mass.) before handing the ball over to sophomore right-handed reliever Ryan Riley (Sharon, Mass.) who earned the three-inning save impressively with six strikeouts.
Endicott held a 2-0 lead after the top of the fourth as Gulls junior outfielder Michael Casciano (Somers, Conn.) hit a sacrifice fly to left to score junior second baseman Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) in the second inning and senior outfielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) had a RBI base knock to left to score Casciano in the fourth.
Clarkson quickly took the lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning with a three-run output that included RBI hits by sophomore catcher Brad Pearson (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Bando as well as a fielder's choice RBI for Joe Stockman (Northport, N.Y.).
Endicott scored twice in the top of the fifth to regain the lead at 4-3, taking advantage of a Clarkson error and Casciano's second RBI of the game to score senior shortstop Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.).
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Today was the first-ever meeting between Endicott and Clarkson. Clarkson competes in the Liberty League.
- Four players had two hits for Endicott including Casciano, Kochiss, graduate student designated hitter Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.), and freshman catcher Ian Schmidt (Plymouth, Conn.).
- DeDonato, along with going 1-for-4 with a run scored, swiped three bases which is one shy of his career-best. Farnham added a stolen base, his first of the year.
- Gulls freshman lefty Liam Burke (Westwood, Mass.) suffered the loss (0-1) after fellow first-year pitcher Joseph Oriola (Sandwich, Mass.) went the first four innings.
- Freshman Alexander Mandrus (Acton, Mass.) and junior Victor Molle (Peabody, Mass.) both had scoreless outings in relief.
FOR THE FOES
- This was Clarkson's season opener after being forced to postpone their travel arrangements to central Florida due to poor weather back in Podsdam, N.Y.
- Bando and Pirro both had multiple hits in the Knights win. Bando led with two RBI while Pirro and junior Ben Knauf (Spencerport, N.Y.) each had one.
Endicott (5-3) returns home and is scheduled to face NEWMAC rival Wheaton (Mass.) on Tuesday, March 21 at North Field. First pitch is at 4:00 p.m. Clarkson (1-0) continues their spring break trip this afternoon with a 1:00 p.m. showdown with St. Olaf College at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex.