ROCHDALE, Mass.- Becker College defeated Worcester State 8-7 in non-conference baseball action Tuesday evening at Rochdale Park. The win lifts the Hawks record to 19-17 while the Lancers fall to 15-19.
The victory was Becker's first win over Worcester State since April 6, 2005.
Worcester State jumped on the board in the top of the first when Colin Medeiros (Fall River, Mass.) drove in Brian Poillucci (North Attleboro, Mass.) with an RBI double into the left centerfield gap.
The Lancers would extend their lead to 2-0 in the top of the second. After loading the bases, Becker starting pitcher Nicholas Hawrylciw (Amesbury, Mass.) uncorked a wild pitch allowing Josh Creamer (Worcester, Mass.) to scamper home from third.
Becker put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the second to take the lead with three runs. Senior Nick Harriman (Harrisville, R.I.) put the Hawks on the board with his fifth home run of the season. After Michael Bianco (Manorville, N.Y.) kept the inning alive with a double down the left field line, Tanyon Ventres (Holden, Mass.) tied the game with a single up the middle. Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead with a triple into the left centerfield gap.
Worcester State responded with three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 5-3 advantage. Chad Richardson (Bristol, Conn.) got the inning started with a leadoff triple to right center. Richardson tied the game at 3-3 when trotted home on a pass ball. Consecutive singles by Brian Bonacquisti (Pittsfield, Mass.), Josh Creamer and Evan Wedlock (Fort Myers, Fla.) upped the Worcester State lead to 4-3. Brian Poillucci capped off the inning with an RBI double down the right field line.
Worcester State added to their lead in the top of the fifth when Evan Wedlock earned a bases loaded walk to make the score 6-3.
Becker battled their way back into game with another two-out rally bottom of the fifth. With Tanton Ventres standing on third, T.J. Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.) hit what appeared to be an inning ending ground ball to short, but the throw across the diamond sailed over the first baseman's head. Ventres would score for third, cutting the Becker deficit to 6-4. Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.) made the error hurt when he belted his 19th career home run, tying the game at 6-6.
In the bottom of the seventh the Hawks would take the lead for good with two runs. After Tanyon Ventres started the inning with a leadoff walk, Josiah Shepherd singled up the middle, putting runners at the corner. On Shepherd's ensuing theft of second base, Ventres stole home to give the Hawks a 7-6 lead. The attempt to cut Ventres down at home sailed over the catcher's head, allowing Shepherd to move up to third. Daniel Diaz (Teaneck, N.J.) made the score 8-6 when he hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Shepherd.
Christopher Ladou (Worcester, Mass.) earned the victory after tossing a scoreless inning of relief. Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.) earned the save after pitching the final two innings.
Sam Allen (Springfield, Mass.) suffered the loss after giving up the two Becker runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Becker will play Elms College in the first round of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament on Friday, May 5th at 3:00 p.m. The Tournament will be held at Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut.