Baseball: Norwich splits 2019 finale with Pine Manor

Baseball huddle Lasell (Mark Collier)

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University baseball team closed out the 2019 season with a non-conference doubleheader split vs. Pine Manor on Tuesday afternoon at Garrity Field.

Norwich (7-23) took the first game by a 14-4 score and then fell 6-3 in extra innings in the second game to split the inaugural two meetings between the two programs.

Norwich senior pitcher Jake Ryan (Arlington, Mass.) threw five shutout innings, allowing just two hits in his final appearance on the bump for the Maroon and Gold to pick up his fourth victory of the season. He also struck out a season-high seven batters and with his third strikeout of the game in the top of the 2nd inning, he reached the 100-career strikeouts milestone.

Every Norwich starter but one recorded a hit in Game 1 as the Cadets used a seven-run bottom of the second to pull away and then cruise to the victory. Freshmen Hunter Lavigne (Charlton, Mass.) and Michael Koytihk (Melrose, Mass.) led the NU offense from the bottom of the order with two hits each.

Despite being the lone starter to not tally a hit, Hayden Roberge (Middlesex, Vt.) led the team with two RBIs with a run-scoring ground and then getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in another run.

Norwich took advantage of seven Pine Manor errors in the first game and scored 10 unearned runs in the rout. Seniors Mike Lesco (Somers, Conn.), Kevin Lynch (Randolph, Mass.) and Jacob Barlow (Newburyport, Mass.) all tallied RBIs as well. Barlow made his 100th career appearance as well in Game 1.

In the nightcap, the Norwich bats cooled off and managed just six hits off Pine Manor pitching. Lorenzo Pantaleo threw seven solid innings and gave up one earned run on five hits to pick up his first win of the season for the Gators. Joe Mello came on and worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth to secure his first save of the year.

Junior Chris Dayos (Temecula, Calif.) provided the biggest spark on offense for the Cadets with a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to score Connor McGee (Wakefield, R.I) and Roberge. Dayos' clutch hit leveled the score at 2-2 after Pine Manor scored a run each in the third and the fourth inning.

Freshman catcher Cameron Chamberlain (Marlborough, N.H.) was on base all three times with two walks and a hit to help lead the Norwich offense.

Norwich trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh but Dayos reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Koby Foster (Estill Springs, Tenn.) to score on the play after an errant throw sailed out of play.

However, the tie was short lived as Pine Manor delivered a major blow in the top of the eighth inning with Franklin Baez crushing a bases-clearing triple to right center field that allowed three runs to come in and score and stake the Gators to a 6-3 lead.

Chris Henderson (Stafford, Va.) threw seven innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five in the no decision.