Written by: Matt Cermola
STANDISH, ME- St. Joseph's College of Maine rallied for nine runs in the eighth inning to beat the Lasell College baseball team, 13-9, Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament.
The Monks jumped ahead of Lasell in the bottom of the first when Chris Campbell (Rocherster, NH) hit a leadoff homerun of Lasell starter Joshua Sullivan (Rockland, MA). St. Joseph's would salvage another run off Sullivan when after Sam Butts (Saco, ME) singled to centerfield and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Back-to-back groundouts by Todd Keneborus (Hollis Center, ME) and Pratt brought in Butts and the Monks second run.
The Lasers would respond quickly in the top half of the second off Monk starter Kevin Chamberlain(Scarborough, ME) when Conor Cavanagh (Quincy, MA) drilled a leadoff double to right field. After a four pitch walk by Christopher Pittman (Brockton, MA), freshman Andrew Pompeo (Hingham, MA) hit a two out single to centerfield scoring Cavanagh and shrinking the Monk lead to 2-1.
In the top of the third Lasell would take the lead from the Monks. Billy Uberti (Newton, MA) led off with a single up the middle. After a Bobby Stachura (Middletown, CT) ground out, four straight singles by Sullivan, Cavanagh, Pittman, and Carlton Lentini (Wilmington, MA) scored two Laser runs and made the score 3-2 Lasell. However, it could have been more. On Pittman's single, Keneborus gunned Sullivan out at the plate for the second out of the inning.
In the bottom half of the third, after Butts reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a wild throw, Keneborus brought him home with a base hit to right centerfield to tie the game.
Cavanagh, however, would break that tie in the fifth. With two men out, Cavanagh took the first pitch he saw from Chamberlain and deposited it over the left field wall for a solo home run to put the underdog Lasers ahead, 4-3.
After a St. Joseph's run in the seventh tied the game, the Laser offense exploded off of the Monk bullpen in the top of the eighth. After Lentini scored on a passed ball to break the tie, Lasell would put up four more runs, capped by a two run double by Cavanagh off Andrew Devereaux (Hope Valley, RI) making the score 9-4.
With the Lasers up five headed into the bottom of the 8th, the Monks made the Lasers five run rally look minute as they put up a nine spot on the Laser bullpen. Matt Pitts (Stoneham, MA), who entered in the seventh, gave up a three run homerun to Alex Lorenc (nauet, NY) making the score 9-7. After an Alex Markakis (Lynnfield, MA) walk, Lasell brought in Mike Rodriguez (Brockton, MA) to get out of the jam. He quickly picked up the second out of the inning, but that's all he would be able to get. After loading the bases, Butts single to centerfield, scoring Nate Martin (Chebeaugue Island, ME) and Dan Achorn (Bow, NH) to tie the game. That was followed by another two run hit, this one a double by Keneborus, putting the Monks up 11-9.
Matt Mahoney (Rockland, MA) would relieve Rodriguez, but would allow a two run home run to Pratt, putting the Monks up 13-9 and completing a timely offensive explosion by the GNAC #1 seed.
Tyler Lavarriere (Biddeford, ME) would come in to close the door on the Lasers.
Rodriguez took the loss for the Lasers going 1/3 an inning giving up four runs on three hits and a walk.
Devereaux got the win while going one inning, giving up three runs on three hits.
Lasell (21-14) will take on the loser of Johnson & Wales and Suffolk University in a must win game Saturday, April 30th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's College of Maine.