Baseball Splits Season-opening Doubleheader at Bison Classic by Defeating Gallaudet 12-6, Losing 10-5 to Marymount in Eight

joe braim throws a pitch

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Southern Vermont College baseball team got its 2018 regular season underway on Friday with the Mountaineers splitting a pair of games at Hoy Field in the opening day of Gallaudet University's Bison Classic.

SVC topped GU 12-6 in the early contest to start the season on a good note, but the Mountaineers then fell 10-5 to Marymount University in the backend of the twin bill—that game being ended after eight innings of play due to dark conditions.

Southern Vermont (1-1) concludes its trip to the nation's capital on Saturday with a 10 a.m. first pitch against Muhlenberg College.

The Mountaineers ran out to a big lead off the bat with seven runs in the top of the first, and they added four more in the second frame to stake an advantage they'd be able to carry through the final out.

SVC junior righty Joe Braim (Saratoga, N.Y.) picked up the win (1-0) after tossing seven innings with the start—striking out five Bison and allowing four runs (three earned).

Southern Vermont senior right fielder Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) went 2-2 with a walk, three runs batted in and another run scored in the opener. Junior center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) had a 2-5 showing at the dish with an RBI and a run scored while junior second baseman Will Molloy (Ellenville, N.Y.) went 1-3 with a walk, two RBI's, and two runs scored.

The visitors tallied four hits while benefitting from six GU errors in the top of the first for a sizable upper hand. Senior third baseman John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) roped a run-scoring double to left in the at bat before D'Agnese and Stacey registered back-to-back RBI singles for what proved to be all the Mountaineers needed for the win.

After Gallaudet came back and crossed the dish twice in the home half of the first, SVC notched four more runs in the second behind two-out, two-run singles to left by both Molloy and D'Agnese.

Braim faced just 13 batters through his final four innings on the mound while retiring the Bison side in order in the fifth and seventh. GU chalked up a pair of runs in the eighth, but it would not be enough as SVC's early offensive production was enough to keep the Mountaineers ahead and secure the victory.

Marymount registered four runs in the first inning of the day's second game before going up 6-0 with its next trip to the plate. SVC, batting as the home team, slowly chipped away and made it a two-run deficit by the end of the fifth.

After both teams scored once in the seventh, the Saints touched home three times in the eighth for a five-run advantage; Southern Vermont was unable to get any closer in the bottom of the frame, and the umpires then put an end to the game as darkness overtook Hoy.

Stacey concluded a solid day with a 2-4 performance in the batter's box while adding a walk and a run scored to his line. Freshman second baseman Will Iannacone (Winchendon, Mass.) was 1-3 with a pair of runs batted in, and sophomore left fielder Nate Hickey (Bristol, Conn.) was 1-2 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.

Mountaineer senior right-hander Nick Hartman (East Hartland, Conn.) was strapped with the loss (0-1) after allowing six runs through five innings on the bump.

Marymount used a triple and two home runs in the top of the first to stake a lead the Saints would never relinquish. After MU posted another two runs in the second, D'Agnese led-off the bottom of the third with a double to left; he then came home to put SVC on the board two batters later on a sacrifice fly from junior shortstop Ryan Cullam (Guilderland, N.Y.).

Iannacone tagged another run-scoring fly out for the Mountaineers in the fourth, and a Stacey leadoff double in the fifth made way for junior catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) to drive in his classmate and make it 6-3. Cullam then scored later in the inning on a fielder's choice to short for SVC to get within two.

The Saints extended the difference to three in the top of the seventh, but Southern Vermont came right back with an answer in the bottom of the frame as Hickey doubled to left-center before scoring from third on an Iannacone base hit through the left side. That would be it for the Mountaineers, however, as Marymount kept them from crossing the dish the rest of the way while notching three insurance runs in the top of the eighth.