Emmitsburg, Md. (May 17, 2014)—Mount St. Mary's kept its Northeast Conference playoff hopes alive with a pair of thrilling one-run victories over Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday afternoon at E.T. Straw Family Stadium on campus.
Zach Hostetter threw out the tying run at the plate for the final out as the Mount earned a 6-5 win in the second game of the twinbill. In the opener, Andrew Clow's run-scoring single capped a two-run rally in the eighth in a 3-2 Mount win.
With the wins, the Mountaineers improved to 17-22 overall and 10-12 in the Northeast Conference. The Mount controls its own destiny for the fourth and final NEC playoff spot. If the Mount wins both ends of tomorrow's doubleheader, the team will clinch its first playoff appearance since 2008. If the Mount and FDU split, the final spot will go to LIU Brooklyn. If Fairleigh Dickinson sweeps tomorrow's twinbill, then Wagner will capture the final spot.
Mount St. Mary's 3, Fairleigh Dickinson 2
Vincent Molesky tossed 8.2 strong innings while Andrew Clow capped a two-run rally in the bottom of the eighth to lead the Mount to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Fairleigh Dickinson's Dylan Sprague broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run to right center field in the top of the sixth inning.
The Mount answered in the bottom of the inning when Andrew Frazier walked, moved to second on a Brandon Scott sacrifice, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a clutch two-out single from Kory Britton.
The Knights (13-32, 4-18 NEC) regained the lead in the top of the seventh. John Giakas singled and moved to second on a sacrifice. After a wild pitch, Joel Roman doubled to deep center field to score Giakas with the go-ahead run.
The Mountaineers rallied for a pair of runs in the eighth to take the lead. Tommy Quealy greeted reliever Anthony Calise with a base hit to right-center field to open the inning. After a wild pitch moved Quealy to second, Frazier singled down the left field line to plate Quealy with the tying run. Frazier advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Scott followed with his third sacrifice bunt of the game, moving Frazier to third. Clow, who leads the NEC with a .388 average, then came through with a clutch single to left to plate Frazier with the go-ahead run.
Molesky started the ninth and retired the first two batters. Head coach Scott Thomson then summoned left-hander Chad Diehl to face left-handed hitter Joel Roman, and Diehl was able to get the final out on a fly out to left to preserve the 3-2 victory.
Molesky struck out three while allowing two runs in 8.2 innings to improve to 5-4 on the season. Molesky scattered seven hits while tossing 109 pitches in the game. Diehl recorded his first save of the season.
Clow went 2-for-4 at the plate to pace the Mount offense while Frazier was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Roman went 2-for-4 with a double while Riley Moonan also added two hits in the loss.
Mount St. Mary's 6, Fairleigh Dickinson 5
Zach Hostetter threw out the tying run at the plate to end the game as the Mount held on for a 6-5 victory over FDU in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader.
Leading 6-4 in the top of the seventh, Fairleigh Dickinson's Matt McCann and Riley Moonan singled with one out to put runners on first and second. Mount closer Nick Riley retired the next batter on a groundout to second, but the runners advanced to second and third. John Giakas followed by lacing a single to left field. McCann scored from third, and Moonan tried to score from second on the hit. Hostetter's throw, however, was on the money, and Andrew Clow tagged Moonan for the final out of the game.
In a back-and-forth game, the Mountaineers scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 6-4 advantage. Pinch-hitter Tyler Post led off with a base hit, and he moved to third on a Tommy Quealy single on a perfectly executed hit and run. Ryan McGrath came on in relief of starter Joe Flack, and after Quealy stole second, Andrew Frazier walked to load the bases.
Brandon Scott came through with a sacrifice fly to right field to score Post with the tying run. Clow followed with a double to right-center field to plate both Quealy and Frazier with the go-ahead runs.
FDU regained a one-run lead on Joel Roman's RBI double, but the Mount answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-2 lead. Clow walked to open the inning, and Britton followed by drilling a two-run homer to right field.
The Knights again took the lead with two runs in the fifth. Shane Sielber and Dylan Sprague posted back-to-back doubles to tie the score at 3-3. After McCann was retired on a fly out, Jordan Lawson came on in relief of Lamont. A wild pitch advanced Sprague to third, and he scored on a Moonan sacrifice fly.
Lawson picked up the win for the Mount to move to 3-3 on the season. Riley earned his team-leading ninth save, allowing one run in two innings of work. Lamont struck out four while allowing four runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings.
Britton went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a two-run homer for the Mount at the plate. It was Britton's team-leading third home run of the year. Post finished 2-for-2 with a run scored as well. Giakas and Sprague each had two hits for FDU in the loss.
The teams will conclude the regular season with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader tomorrow at E.T. Straw Family Stadium on campus.