ROCHDALE, Mass.- The Becker College baseball split their New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader against Newbury College Saturday afternoon at Rochdale Park. Newbury rallied for a 4-3 win in game one before Becker captured the nightcap 3-0.
With the split, the Hawks of Becker even their record at 15-15 (8-5 NECC) while the Nighthawks of Newbury move to 18-16-1 (7-10 NECC).
The Hawks jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. After Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) led off the game with a single, Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.) followed with an RBI double into the right field gap. Desai would make his way home when Chris Testa (Providence, R.I.) and T.J. Sempkowski (Ocenaport, N.J.) hit back-to-back fly balls to right field.
The Hawks held a 2-0 lead until the top of the sixth when they Nighthawks knotted the game at 2-2. With pinch runner Mitchell Walsh (Westport, Mass.) on second base, Ian Hruniak (Lutz, Fla.) put the Nighthawks on the board with an RBI single to right. Hruniak would make his way into scoring position with a stolen base. Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) then beat out an infield single, the throw across the diamond skipped past the Becker first baseman, allowing Hruniak to scamper home with the tying run.
In the top of the eighth, James McGrorry (Oakhurst, N.J.) gave Newbury the lead when he smacked a home run just inside the left field foul pole Newbury would load the bases with a pair of singles and a hit batter before Radinsky Baez (Roxbury, Mass.) made the score 4-2 with when he beat out a double play ball, scoring Ian Hruniak from third.
In the bottom of the eighth, Vaibhav Desai pulled the Hawks within a run with a RBI single to right. An error by the Newbury right fielder allowed Desai to move into scoring position with two outs. Newbury senior pitcher Ethan Forrest (East Bridgewater, Mass.) was able to strikeout Chris Testa to end the game.
Forrest improved his record to 9-1 on the year after allowed two earned runs while striking out six in a complete game effort.
Christopher LaDou (Worcester, Mass.) suffered the loss after giving up a pair of runs in two innings of work.
The Hawks received a complete game shutout from sophomore pitcher Daniel Diaz (Teaneck, N.J.) to capture game two. Diaz struck out four Nighthawks while allowing just four hits to improve his record to 2-1.
Becker scored all their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Josiah Shepherd led off the inning with a single up the middle. After Shepherd stole second and advanced to third on a groundout, T.J. Sempkowski put the Hawks on the board with a triple into the left center gap. Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.) followed with a double into the same gap, upping the Becker lead to 2-0. Evan Barrera (West Warwick, R.I.) capped off the inning with an RBI single.
James McGrorry took the loss for the Nighthawks after allowing seven hits over six innings of work.
Becker and Newbury will wrap up their series with the rubber match Sunday evening at the New England Baseball Complex with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.