Howard's First Start Yields a Win for the Lasers
Fort Myers, FL- In his first start on the mound for the Lasell College baseball team, freshman hurler Eric Howard (Newton, MA) secured a 6-2 win over Nichols College on Sunday morning at the Gene Cusic Spring Classic in Fort Myers, Florida.
In seven innings of work, the rookie starter yielded just five hits and two runs while striking out two. Through five innings, Howard gave up just two hits to the Bison, and no runs were scored until the bottom of the seventh. The win improves Lasell's overall record to 2-1 this season.
Matt Mahoney (Rockland, MA) went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI, a double, and one run to lead the Lasers offensively. Joshua Sullivan (Rockland, MA), Billy Uberti (Newton, MA), and Jacob Salkovitz (Brockton, MA) supported the rest of the onslaught with a combined four hits, four runs and three RBI. Sullivan went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs and one RBI, Uberti added one hit and two RBI, and Salkovitz scored twice and had one single. Carlton Lentini (Wilmington, MA) also rounded the bags once for the Lasers.
Lasell put a run up in the first inning after Sullivan smacked a two-bagger into left center field and Conor Cavanagh (Quincy, MA) followed with a single which brought the runner home.
In the top of the third, Salkovitz took a walk to start the Lasers off, and advanced to second on an error by Nichols first baseman. Mahoney sent Salkovitz home on a double into left center and Sullivan followed with a triple to score Mahoney. Uberti sacrificed himself to plate Sullivan and the inning ended with a four run advantage for the Lasers.
Mat Witman was the first Bison to get a hit in the bottom of the third inning, however, the third baseman was left on the bag at the conclusion of the inning. Another quick three outs transpired in the top of the fourth, including the first of two strikeouts by Howard.
Lasell completed their scoring in the fifth when Lentini made it to first on balls and Salkovitz ripped a drive down the middle to set up Matt Mahoney's two RBI single which scored both runners.
In the bottom of the frame, Howard struck out George Sergi, then after a single hit by Jarred Sturzynski, Howard turned a double play with a line drive caught on the mound and an assist at first to close the frame.
Nichols looked to get on the board in the sixth inning when with two outs and the top of the order, Zac Johnson reached first on a base hit and then stole second. A slice by Cody Jenkins into short right center sent Johnson to third but the left fielder turned the corner and shot for home. Lasell's defense was on point as right fielder Mike Mahoney (Rockland, MA) slung the ball in to Matt Mahoney behind the plate, catching Johnson as he slid into home to preserve the shutout through six.
Howard went on to close the complete game in the seventh, allowing just one hit, though two unearned runs made it home after a Laser miscue on the throw.
In the nightcap, Michael Rodriguez (Brockton, MA) brought Lasell's overall record to 3-1 after a 3-2 win over Nichols in a sweep of the double-header.
Rodriguez faced 28 batters, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out one.
Mike Mahoney went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI in the game while Matt Mahoney and Sullivan scored a run and had one hit each. Uberti also came around the bags once, Cavanagh earned one RBI, and Pittman turned out one hit.
Lasell did all their scoring in the first inning. After Matt Mahoney and Sullivan singled and Uberti was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Cavanagh hit a sacrifice fly into center field to score Mahoney. A two run double by Mike Mahoney over the second base bag scored Sullivan and Uberti to give Lasell all the lead they would need in the game.
Nichols scored once in the third inning when Johnson walked and a fielder's choice by Martin sent him home. In the fifth inning the Bison closed in on the Lasers' edge as Johnson singled and Clark doubled to send Johnson home.
The Lasers held on to win the game by one.