Lasell's Rookie Baseball Program Secures a Spot in GNAC Playoffs

Lasell's Rookie Baseball Program Secures a Spot in GNAC Playoffs

Waltham, Mass.-  Rich Balgowan (Hamilton, NJ) gave Lasell their first home victory today starting on the diamond, earning a 17-1 victory over the Rivier College Raiders in GNAC baseball action. Balgowan struck out nine en route to the conference win in seven complete innings.  The Lasers also won the nightcap, 9-1, against the Raiders with Mike Mahoney (Rockland, Mass.) on the mound.  The Lasers improve their record to a 8-18 slate and a 4-8 conference mark.  With these two wins, the first year NCAA program has secured a spot in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs.


Rivier got on board first when Shaun Hanson (Lee, NH) sent an RBI sac fly to right field bringing Chris Hunt (Lisbon, NH) home to take the early lead in the top of the first.


Matt Mahoney (Rockland, Mass.) started things off for the Lasers with a two-base hit down the left field line.  Josh Sullivan (Rockland, Mass.) walked to get on base then advanced on a defensive indifference.  With bases loaded Conor Cavanaugh (Quincy, Mass.) walked to first bringing Mahoney home to even things out at 1-1.


Sullivan came home to for Lasell's go-ahead run, then a double by Junior Vieja (Randolph, Mass.) sent Jim Amon (Warren, NJ) and Cavanaugh around the bags.  The final score of the inning was sent around by Ryan Walsh (Stoneham, Mass.) to earn the RBI. The inning ended with a 5-1 Laser advantage.


Balgowan allowed no hits in a 1-2-3 second inning, retiring the third batter to close the top of the second.


Four Lasers walked to start the bottom for Lasell, Patrick Girard (Stonington, Conn.) and Amon each made earned run, while Cavanaugh and Sullivan scored unearned on a passed ball and wild pitch respectively. At the end of the second, Lasell had managed a comfortable 9-1 lead.


Lasell had another quick top of the third with two fly outs and Balgowan's second K of the day. During the Lasers at-bats, Amon shot a line drive up the middle to send Matt Mahoney home for the Lasers tenth run, and Cavanaugh's single down the right field line warranted him the RBI. 


In the fourth, Balgowan got his third, fourth, and fifth strikeouts, followed by the Raiders pitcher Will Laux (Mt. Kisco, NY) forcing a quick inning getting his first strike out in the bottom of the 4th. Girard's double through the right side was the only hit of the inning.


Matt Blair (Haverhill, Mass.) hit a line drive through the middle to get on base in the fifth.  After a strike out by Balgowan, and a fielding play by Sullivan at second, Rivier's Ryan O'Connor (Medford, Mass.) found himself in scoring position.  The Lasers, however, got out of the inning with a nice grab by Matt Mahoney to get the runner out at second and end the frame.


Lasell's Scott Janz (Woodridge, NJ) got a base hit in the bottom of the fifth but no runs were scored.  The Lasers remained up 11-1.


The sixth inning saw Balgowan get on top of the count to give the Lasers their second out in just three pitches.  Angelo Colucci (Stoneham, Mass.) made the play at second for the third.


Lasell's final runs began with a Sullivan double to right field and a walk by Janz to load the bases for Lasell. Steve Vanderwerken (Rockport, Mass.) stepped up to bat and rocked a two-RBI double to give Lasell a 13 run advantage. Veija drove Janz home with a single and Randy Weiner's (Randolph, Mass.) base hit propelled Brian McQuinn (Quincy, Mass.) to the Lasers 16th run.  Run number seventeen was earned as Mahoney walked forcing Vieja home.


Balgowan retired the first two batters in the seventh and Vanderwerken putout the last batter at first to finish the game 17-1.


In seven innings, Balgowan struck out nine, allowed just six hits and one run. 


In game two, the home team defeated the Raiders 9-1.  O'Connor singled in the gap to get on base for Rivier in the leadoff position.  After stealing second, O'Connor was further advanced on a sac fly by Hunt. A pop up by Phil Woodbury (Nashua, NH) gave Lasell their second out and a final fly out to left field disallowed the Raiders to score in the first.


During the Lasers first opportunity at bat, Matt Mahoney slid into home after stealing second and third, then was brought in on a sacrifice fly by Amon.  The Lasers held the 1-0 lead through the top of the second, during which time the Raiders grounded out twice and Laser pitcher Mike Mahoney struck out the final batter. Lasell also had a quick second inning, with no hits and no runs.


In the third inning, Cameron Williams (Lisbon, NH) scored to even the run count to 1-all on a Laser error. Mike Mahoney struck out two more in the third to end the frame without further damage.


The bottom of the 3rd was the inning that the Lasers went ahead for good.  Matt Mahoney rounded first on a fielder choice followed by a stolen base.  Mahoney advanced once again when Sullivan reached on an error.  Cavanaugh made his way around the bases with a three-base line-drive over the shortstop, then advanced to home on a Rivier error, all the while driving in Mahoney and Sullivan. 


Mike Mahoney held onto the comfortable lead by battling back from being behind in the count to send three batters back to the dugout without help in the fourth.   Rivier also did not allow any runners on base with two fast fly outs and a ground out.


Lasell's defense was on point in the fifth to close the inning with a ground out double.  After Mahoney struck out one, Lasell turned the double play as Chris Hunt (Lisbon, NH) grounded to Weiner at third. Wiener began the play shooting the ball to Sullivan at second, then Sullivan, in turn, fired the ball to Cavanaugh at first to end the inning.


Mahoney started the fifth stanza with a triple to right field and was sent home by Sullivan's repeat of Cavanaugh's play in the third, scoring on a triple plus a Raider error.  Weiner earned a two-RBI single finding a gap in the middle before coming around himself as the Lasers went ahead 9-1.


In the final two innings, the Lasers held Rivier scoreless as Nick Guzman (Worcester, Mass.) stepped in to pitch the seventh.  Guzman struck out one batter in the half inning.


Lasell returns to non-conference action on Thursday night at 7:00 when they'll face the Hawks of Becker College on their home field.