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Hornet baseball drops a pair of games at RussMatt Invitational

Hornet baseball drops a pair of games at RussMatt Invitational

Auburndale, FL - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon baseball team returned to the diamond at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Tuesday for games against Milwaukee School of Engineering and Hanover College.  Unfortunately for the Hornets, they came up on the short end of the score in both games, falling 10-0 to MSOE and 8-6 to Hanover.  Lyndon is now 1-2 on the season, while MSOE picked up its first win in five starts and Hanover improved to 2-1.

Game 1 - MSOE 10, NVU-Lyndon 0

The Hornets struggled to get their bats going against MSOE pitchers Tyler Gronert and Nathan Tremore, mustering only four singles in the contest, one each from Zak Johnson (East Hampton, CT), Ben Rollins (Lincolnville, ME), Codi Smith (Hartford, VT), and Tucker Root (Middlefield, CT).  Meanwhile the Raiders pounded out 15 hits in generating their ten runs.

MSOE began the scoring in the bottom of the second.  Nick Stricker got things started with a one-out double off of Hornet starter James Mundy (Brentwood, NH).  Adam Graham followed with a single through the right side, scoring Stricker.  After Graham advanced to second on a passed ball, Brandon Beauchamp drove hm home.  Beauchamp then stole second and came around to score on a pair of wild pitches, making the score 3-0, Raiders.

MSOE added a run in the bottom of the third when Julian Sonn led off with a walk and later scored on Ryan Kocher's single.

Gronert set the Hornets down in order in each of the first three innings.  Johnson singled to open the fourth and give Lyndon their first baserunner.  He moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third on Smith's one-out single.  Both runners were stranded, however.

Lyndon mounted another threat in the top of the fifth.  Root led off with a single and moved to second on a fielder's choice.  Tyler Roberge (Essex, VT) was hit by a pitch, then he and Root advanced to second and third on a wild pitch.  Lyndon was again unable to get the timely hit, however, and both runners were stranded.

MSOE broke the game open with three runs in the botton of the sixth inning.  Beauchamp tripled to start things off for the Raiders.  Justin Bickman singled home Beauchamps and later scored on a balk call.  Son scored the thrid run of the inning.  He reached on a single and slater cored on Aaron Tratner's s sacrifice fly to make the score 7-0, Raiders.  MSOE added a pair of runs in the seventh, then ended the game by pushing across another in the eighth.

Gronert got the win for MSOE, going seven shutout innings, striking out ten against only one walk.  Mundy took the loss for Lyndon, yielding four runs, three earned, and seven hits over 4.1 innings.

Game 2 - Hanover 8, NVU-Lyndon 6

Hanover got on the board first in the Hornets' second game of the day.  Back to back doubles from Spencer Coop and Grant Larimore in the top of the thrid produced the game's first run.  Lyndon tied things up in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Smith and Jason Doris (Lincoln, RI) started the inning with back to back singles.  Then Root delivered a two-out single to score Smith.

The Hornet bats continued to warm up in the next inning.  Johnson, Rollins, and Smith strung together three straight singles to put the Hornets in front, 2-1.  Ryder Thornton (Essex, VT) later reached on an error, allowing Rollins to score and extending the lead to 3-1.

Root led off the home half of the sixth by beating out an infield single.  Johnson's two-out double to right scored Root, making it 4-1, Lyndon.

Hanover had been held in check by Hornet starter Tyler Davis (Barre, VT), who allowed a single run on six hits while striking out seven before being relieved by Johnson with one out in the sixth.  The Panthers came alive in the seventh, however, plating five runs to take a 6-4 lead.  Andrew Littlefield led off with a single, then Matt Vetor was hit by a pitch.  Zeke Porta beat out an infield hit to load the bases, then Coop doubled home two runs.  Larimore followed with another two-run double to give the Panthers the lead, still with nobody out.  After Chase Sizemore flied out to Smith, Josh Meszaros singled home Latimore.

The Hornets got back to even in the bottom half of the seventh.  Rollins led off wirth a single, then Smith followed with a triple to deep right field, scoring Rollins.  Doris then lifted a sacrifice fly down the right right field line, scoring Smith.

Hanover regained the lead with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth.  Littlefield and Vetor started the inning by reaching on back to back errors.  Porta then singled up the middle, scoring Littlefield, and Coopp squeezed home Vetor to make it 8-6, Hanover, and that score held for the final.

Eli Copner went seven innings, allowing six runs, five ot them earned, on 12 hits with seven strikeouts to earn the win for Hanover.  George Dant pitched two scoreless innings in relief to record the save.  Rollins, the third Hornet pitcher of the game took the loss despite allowing no earned runs.

Lyndon will continue their stay at the RussMatt Invitational on Wednesday when they play a doubleheader against Alma College.  First pitch on the main field at Lake Myrtle Park is scheduled for 11:00 am.