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Hawks Advance With Win In NE-10 Tournament

May 09, 2012

Eric Coplin

Junior Andrew ChandlerSophomore Tito Lluberes went 3-for-5, drove in three runs and keyed a huge eight-run sixth inning as the Saint Anselm College baseball team posted a 14-8 victory against Le Moyne College in its first game of the double elimination portion of the Northeast-10 Championship on Friday afternoon at Franklin Pierce University's Pappas Field.

The Hawks, who improve to 28-21-2 after winning 10 of 12, including four straight, have earned two Northeast-10 Championship wins this season for the first time ever and only had two previous tournament wins all-time coming into this season. The Dolphins drop to 36-13-1.

The Hawks advance to take on Franklin Pierce on Saturday at noon. The Ravens moved on earlier in the day by using a three-run ninth to defeat the University of New Haven, 6-5. The entire tournament was originally scheduled to be played at Sullivan Park, but the week's heavy rains forced Friday's contests to be moved to Franklin Pierce. The games will move back to Sullivan Park for the remainder of the tournament Saturday and Sunday.

Lluberes led off the game with a ground-rule double to left-center, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Richie Manzi and then scored on a wild pitch as he slid in just under the catcher's tag to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

Le Moyne went ahead with a pair in the top of the second. A leadoff single by Ryan Mahoney, followed by bunt single from Pat Wiese put a pair on with no one out. With the double steal on, Saint Anselm starter, senior Sean Hayden, struck out Matthew Ciraco and Gonya gunned down Mahoney at third for two quick outs.

Paul Speicher then grounded to short, but reached on an error and advanced to second on the throw home that was late as Wiese scored. Kyle Kalacka then doubled to right-center to plate Speicher and the Dolphins led 2-1.

Le Moyne scored two more in the third on Wiese's one-out, two-run single up the middle that stretched the lead to 4-1.

The Hawks came back with a five-spot in the third. After Lluberes drew a leadoff walk and Manzi was hit by a pitch, junior Robert Kelly (Aurora, Colo.) worked the count full before walking to load the bases. Senior Daniel DeCoste followed by lifting a sacrifice fly to center that scored Lluberes, who slid headfirst into home ahead of the catcher's tag.

After sophomore Dan Lagasse flied to center, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position with two outs. Freshman Mike Hayden capitalized by driving a single back up the middle to score two and knot it at four. The throw home beat Kelly, but he slid around the catcher's tag for the second run.

Hayden, who moved to second on the throw, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then scored when sophomore Nate Gonya drove a pitch the other way that went off the glove of the leaping left fielder for an RBI double that gave the Hawks a 5-4 edge.

Senior Jeffrey Criscuolo drove a sharp single through the left side that moved Gonya to third before he swiped second to put a pair in scoring position. Junior Andrew Chandler beat out a grounder to short for an infield hit that plated Gonya to make it 6-4.

Le Moyne grabbed a run back in the fifth. Hayden had retired seven straight when Ryan Mahoney drove a two-out solo shot over the right field fence to make it 6-5.

Senior Neil Hesek relieved Hayden to begin the sixth and gave up a single up the middle to Speicher, who moved to second on Kalaka's ground out to Hesek and to third on Vincent Redmond's ground out to third. Brett Botsford then lined a pitch back off Hesek's cleat and beat the throw from third as Speicher scored to tie the game at six.

The Hawks answered by blowing the game wide open in the bottom of the frame. Lluberes started it by smoking a single into left-center and then moved to third on Manzi's sac bunt. Kelly walked and DeCoste was hit by a pitch as the Hawks loaded the bases with one out.

Lagasse stroked a two-run single to right to give the Hawks an 8-6 lead. After Lagasse stole second, Hayden reached on an error to load the bases before Gonya was hit by a pitch to expand the lead to three.

Criscuolo then dumped a single into center before Chandler popped out for the second out of the inning. Lluberes cleared the bases and break the game open with a three-run triple to center before scoring on a wild pitch to make it 14-6. The Hawks sent 13 to the plate in their eight-run inning.

Le Moyne tacked on two in the ninth on Mahoney's two-run single up the middle.

Hayden went the first five innings, allowing five runs - three earned - on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking two. Hesek (5-4) gave up a run on two hits, while striking out a pair over two innings to earn the win. Freshman David Kent tossed a scoreless eighth, giving up a hit. Cooney retired the only batter he faced in the ninth. Farrington gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out one and walking one over the final 0.2 innings.

Le Moyne starter Derek Zielinski went five-plus innings and relinquished seven runs on nine hits, while striking out four and walking four.

The Hawks return to action Saturday, May 11 at noon when they take on Franklin Pierce at Sullivan Park. They would then play for the title Sunday with a win or, with a loss, face the winner of Friday's New Haven/Le Moyne matchup Saturday at 3 p.m.

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