Lynn, MA- The Falcons baseball team earned two dramatic victories Tuesday evening as both were in walk-off fashion. In both games of the doubleheader against the visiting Eastern Nazarene Lions, the Falcons had to overcome a late deficit to secure the wins. Senior Ivan Rivera (Brooklyn, NY) was the hero in game one, sending a single up the middle for the 11-10 victory, while junior Mitchell Lundholm (Plymouth, MA) sent a seed to centerfield over a packed infield to lead his team to a 9-8 comeback victory. The two wins make it 12 in a row for the Falcons, and now sit at 27-10 for the season.
Game 1- Fisher 11, Eastern Nazarene 10
The Falcons found themselves in unfamiliar territory to start the first game of the doubleheader, down 7-0 after four innings. The Lions (10-9) jumped on the board early, taking advantage of two Falcons miscues to score three runs in the top of the first. ENC scored the three runs on just one hit off of Falcons starter Johann Doerrer (Dolgeville, NY), a single by Zach Carmody that made its way to the fence allowing three runs to score for the early 3-0 lead. Doerrer was able to work out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and kept the visitors to just the three runs to limit the damage. ENC added to their lead with a 2-out RBI double from Steve Pesce to put the Lions up 5-0 after two. The Falcons bats were quiet the first time through the lineup, scattering just two hits off of the Lions starter Briley Seiter, singles from Jonathan Rosado (Bayamon, PR) and Joshua Rogers (Highlands Ranch, CO). The visitors tacked on two more runs in the top of the 4th on three straight hits to go up 7-0 with two outs. Junior George Gali (Guayama, PR) came in relief and stopped the bleeding on just one pitch, forcing a groundout to end the inning. Kevin Bongiovani (Bayside, NY) pitched a scoreless fifth keeping the score at 7-0. Fisher ended the Seiter shutout in the bottom of the 5th as they got on the board with a pair of runs off singles from Cameron Pearson (Orlando, FL) and Ismael Perez (Brooklyn, NY) and a sac fly from Jorge Sanchez (Caguas, PR) to bring the score to 7-2.
ENC responded in the next half inning with a pair of runs to take back the 7-run lead, going up 9-2. Pesce added another hit for the Lions, plating a run and putting runners on the corners with no outs. Falcons reliever Wesley Lopez (Caguas, PR) was able to limit the damage getting Carmody to ground out into a double play, scoring just one more run in the inning putting the Lions back up 9-2. The Falcons bats broke through in the bottom half of the inning as they collected seven hits in the inning, producing six runs and getting them within one run as they trailed 9-8 after six full innings. Fisher batted through the lineup in the 6th, kickstarted by Lundholm's single, his first of the inning. After singles from John Batista (Lawrence, MA), Rogers and Perez, the key hit was a triple to the right center gap from Jacob Deziel (Merrimac, MA) clearing the bases, giving all the momentum to the Falcons dugout. Sanchez and Lundholm added two more hits, and the Falcons trailed 9-8 heading to the 7th. ENC answered with another run in the top of the 7th on a pair of singles and a Falcons miscue. Facing another 2-run deficit, the Falcons tied it up in the bottom of the 7th after a leadoff double from Batista got his offense going. Pearson followed with another single, moving Batista up putting runners on the corners. Rogers knocked a grounder to second allowing Batista to score bringing it to 10-9. Deziel came up with another game-changing hit as he smacked a double to left, scoring Pearson to tie it up. Lopez pitched a clean 8th, but the Falcons could not get anything going off of Lions reliever Ryan Spina, bringing the game to the 9th tied at 10 a piece. Lions threatened in the top, putting runners on second and third with one out, but Falcons reliever Yamil Delgado (Caguas, PR) was able to close the door retiring the final two batters of the inning, setting up the drama in the bottom of the inning. Pinch hitter Braxten Ramirez (Amarillo, TX) reached on a Lions error, but was put out on the next play from a fielder's choice from Rogers. Reynaldo Vega (Aguada, PR) came in to pinch ran for Rogers, and Perez hit his third single of the night putting runners on first and second with one out. After getting Deziel to fly out, Spina walked Sanchez to load the bases for Rivera with two outs. Rivera was able to muscle a grounder up the middle forcing the Lions shorstop to dive, allowing all runners to be safe for the game winning single while being mobbed by his teammates at first.
Fisher out hit the Lions 18-13 in the victory with Lundholm and Perez leading the way with three hits a piece in the comeback victory. Sanchez, Batista, Pearson, Rogers and Deziel all tallied two hits a piece in the victory with Deziel leading the way with three RBI's. Delgado earned his second win of the season with the clean 9th inning, while striking out one. Pesce and Josue Basilis each collected three hits a piece for the visitors, with Pesce adding 3 RBI in the losing effort. Spina would take the loss for the Lions, allowing two hits and no earned runs.
Game 2- Fisher 9, Eastern Nazarene 8
The second game of the doubleheader served as the polar opposite of game one, as the Falcons jumped out to the 7-0 lead after four full innings. The Falcons got on the board right away forcing a Lions error allowing Lundholm to hit a sac fly to score Sanchez to take an early 1-0 lead after one. Fisher put three on the board in the second inning as Reynaldo Mejia (Lawrence, MA) forced a one-out walk off of Lions starter Morgan Weast. Ramirez followed with a single, putting runners on first and second setting the table for the red hot Deziel. The second baseman stayed hot as he roped his second triple of the night down the left field line scoring Ramirez and Mejia for the 3-0 lead. He then stole home on a misplay from the Lions defense and the Falcons would hold a 4-0 lead after two innings. Falcons starter Jose Galan (Alta, PR) held the Lions bats to just one hit and seven strikeouts to keep the visitors off the board for the first four innings. The Falcons made it a 7-0 game in the bottom of the 4th, taking advantage of a Lions miscue, stealing a pair of bases, and getting two hits from Lundholm and Perez.
ENC was able to get on the board as they got to Galan in the top half of the 5th, plating four runs as off of four singles and took advantage of some wildness as he walked a pair and had a pair of wild pitches, making it 7-4 heading to the bottom of the 5th. The Lions matched the four runs in the top half of the 6th as they earned two more hits off of Galan forcing Coach Dulin to his bullpen. Freshman Jared Dane (Fontana, CA) came in with runners on second and third with no outs and struck out the first two batters he faced, however the second Lion reached first after striking out as the ball scooted to the backstop allowing a Lion run, putting runners at the corners with just one out. A base clearing double for Connor Simpson tied the game for the visitors and forced another Falcons reliever. Raymundo Gomez (Lynn, MA) was able to limit the damage allowing just one of his inherited runners to score and the Lions led 8-7 headed to the bottom of the 6th. Lions reliever Dan Rivera was able to keep the Falcons bats quiet for the 5th and 6th innings while Hunter Authier kept the Falcons off the board in the 7th and 8th. Gomez pitched six straight outs in the 7th and 8th for his squad and the two teams would head to the 9th with the Falcons trailing 8-7. After a leadoff walk, John Travieso (Miami, FL) replaced Gomez on the mound. Travieso worked quickly and forced three straight Lions grounders to get out of the inning giving his team another chance at a walk-off.
Pinch hitter, Cam Pearson, got on board after digging out a grounder that the Lions second baseman mishandled. Back-to-back bunt attempts from Deziel and Sanchez also forced Lions errors, scoring Pearson and putting runners on second and third with no outs. Authier was able to work a 3-2 count to Rivera, but ended up walking him to load the bases for Lundholm. The Lions brought in Connor Simpson from centerfield to play a 5-man infield to try to force the out at home, but Lundholm took his second pitch out to center field, scoring Deziel for the second walk-off victory of the night, defeating the Lions 9-8.
Lundholm was the leader for his team as he was the only Falcon to collect multiple hits in the nightcap as the Lions out hit the Falcons 9-7. He went 2 for 2 at the plate with three walks, one being intentional. Travieso earned his second win of the season, pitching a clean 9th to help his team to their 27th victory of the season. Simpson and Pesce each tallied two hits a piece in the losing effort, while combining for 4 RBI's. Authier would take the loss for the Lions, his first of the season.
The Falcons return to action this Friday as they play host to the Bryant & Stratton Bobcats of Albany. The game was changed to a 1pm start and will be played at Fraser Field.