BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Johnson & Wales University baseball team posted a 6-2 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University on Thursday afternoon at Scotts Miracle-Gro Field.
The Wildcats improve to 15-5 on the season, while the visiting Bears fall to 5-9.
Junior Joe Maracic (Syosset, N.Y.) went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, a run and two RBI to highlight the JWU offense.
Sophomore right-hander Jake Hernandez (Missouri City, Texas) went six solid innings to record his win of the season on the mound for the Wildcats. Hernandez gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks. He induced 11 groundball outs.
Freshman Liam Bell (Wells, Maine) went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored a run to pace the BSU offense.
The Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Bell singled to lead off the game, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on senior Kevin Bresciani's (Hopedale, Mass.) RBI single. Two outs later, junior Lewis Robinson (New Britain, Conn.) walked and senior Gavin Sparkman (Beverly, Mass.) followed with a base hit into centerfielder. Bresciani would come around to score the second run of the inning when the ball was mishandled in the outfield.
The Wildcats answered in the home half of the first on a two-out, two-run double off the bat of junior Armani Henderson (Johnston, R.I.).
The score remained tied at two until the bottom of the fifth when the Wildcats pushed across two runs to take a 4-2 lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Maracic and junior Colby Greenhalgh (Plainfield, Conn.).
Johnson & Wales tacked on a run in the seventh as senior Aidan Hagarty (Weed, Calif.) singled home sophomore Anthony Roman (Vega Baja, P.R.) who had walked to lead off the frame. The Wildcats extended the lead to 6-2 in the eighth as sophomore Kevin Duffy (Levittown, N.Y.) walked and advanced to second on junior Rich Bourdeau's (Pawtucket, R.I.) bunt single. On out later, junior pinch runner Vin Amalfitano (Massapequa, N.Y.) scored on Maracic's RBI base hit.
Three BSU pitchers combined to walk nine batters in the contest. Of the nine walks, five came around to score. Freshman righty Chris Hanna (Kingston, N.H.) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bears. Hanna allowed four runs on four hits and four walks over 4 1/3 innings. He also fanned four.
Sophomore Mike Oppenheimer (Carolina, P.R.), freshman Matt Klarbeg (Wayne, N.J.) and sophomore Steve Rocchio (Cranston, R.I.) combined to toss three scoreless innings of relief for Johnson & Wales.
Both teams are back in action on Friday afternoon at three. The Bears host Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rival Worcester State University, while the Wildcats travel to non-league foe Curry College.