CRANSTON, R.I. – The fifth-seeded Norwich University baseball team dropped a heartbreaking 7-6 contest at fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales (R.I.) Tuesday night in the first round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs.
The Wildcats rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning and won the game on a walk-off walk by senior Ivan Reyes (Cranston, R.I.).
The Cadets took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by freshman designated hitter Andrew Fisher (Tewksbury, Mass.) that scored senior center fielder LaShawn Thomas (San Antonio, Texas).
The Wildcats responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead, but the Cadets rallied again in the top of the fourth.
Thomas hit an RBI single to third base to tie the game and fellow senior Matt Sirois (Southington, Conn.) delivered a two-run single to shortstop to reclaim the lead at 4-2.
JWU responded with two runs in the home half of the fifth inning and added another in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning.
In the top of the frame senior catcher Brandon Pedley (Northfield, Vt.) hit an RBI single to short to score junior first baseman Eddie Gates (Griswold, Conn.) and sophomore shortstop Mike Lesco (Somers, Conn.) singled through the right side of the infield to plate junior second baseman Drew Caldwell (Hanover, Mass.) to take the 6-5 lead.
Senior Billy Whaley (Northfield, Vt.) took the loss for Norwich after throwing six and two-third innings of relief. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out 11 batters. He finishes the season at 2-7.
Fisher finished the game three-for-four with three singles while Caldwell and Lesco both contributed two singles.
Norwich closes the season with an overall record of 12-24, while Johnson & Wales advances to take on top-seeded St. Joseph's College (Maine) on Thursday.