Franklin Pierce walks off to victory
Mathieu delivers game-winning hit in ninth inning for Ravens
RINDGE, N.H. -- Zach Mathieu pulled a two-RBI double over the third-base bag and down the left-field line, and a third run scored on an error on the play, in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday afternoon to give No. 14 Franklin Pierce to a 6-5 victory against New Haven on the opening day of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field. Mathieu hit a two-run home run earlier in the game for Franklin Pierce.
Trailing 5-3 heading for the bottom of the ninth inning, the Ravens rallied for three runs and the victory against junior right-handers Frank acha and Peter Jay. Calvin Graves led off, poked a single through the right side and went to second when Dan Hennigan followed with a single through the right side as well. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Dan Kemp worked a walk to load the bases.
The walk spelled the end of the day for Vilacha, as Jay came in and struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning. However, Mathieu was next, turned on a pitch and pulled it over third-base and down the line for what appeared to be a game-tying double. However, Saint Anselm's Chris DeMorais had trouble corralling the ball for an error that allowed Kemp to come all the way around from first with the game-winning run.
Earlier in the afternoon, New Haven opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning. Stephen Clout led off the game with a double over the head of the left fielder, moved to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI groundout by senior shortstop Ryan Brockett.
Franklin Pierce answered with a run in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. Matt Walsh opened the inning and drove a ball the other way, over the fence in the power alley in right-center for his third home run of the season.
New Haven replied immediately with a run in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Brendan O'Reilly started the frame with a double inside the bag at first base and down the right-field line. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI single that dropped on the right-field line by Cory Carr.
Franklin Pierce scored two runs in a span of two batters in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. With two outs, James Roche drove a ball the other way into the gap in right-center for a double and then Mathieu lined a two-run home run to left-center, his 12th of the season.
New Haven tied the game at three with a run in the top of the seventh. Joe Romanelli led off with a walk, moved to second on a walk, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI groundout by O'Reilly.
Two more runs for the Chargers in the top of the eighth gave them a 5-3 lead and sent up the ninth-inning dramatics. With one out, Brockett smoked a ball that hopped over the shoulder of the shortstop and into left-center for a hustle double. He scored when Andrew Johnson followed with an RBI single into right-center field. Johnson scored all the way from first two batters later on a double into the gap in left-center by Romanelli.
Ryan Thompson started on the mound for the Ravens and did not factor in the decision. Over six-plus innings, he allowed three runs on five hits, walked three and struck out five. Vladimir Camacho picked up the win (3-1) out of the bullpen after the ninth-inning rally. Over 1.1 shutout innings, he allowed two hits, threw a wild pitch and struck out two.
John Melville started for New Haven and also did not figure in the decision. In six innings of work, he allowed three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two. Vilacha suffered the loss (4-2) out of the bullpen for the Chargers. Over two innings on the mound, he was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits, walked two, threw a wild pitch and struck out three.