After leading in the first game from start to finish in a 5-2 victory, the Lee baseball team had to go into a 10th inning to pull out a second game 9-6 win over Christian Brothers on Saturday afternoon at Larry Carpenter Stadium on Olympic Field.
The two wins improved the Flames to 7-1 (7-0 GSC) while the Memphis club dropped to 0-5.
The two clubs will complete the three-game series on Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Buccaneers were not able to play on their home field in Memphis due to heavy snow and ice over the past week. The three games were moved to Cleveland and Christian Brothers is serving as home team for all three games.
"It wasn't our best day collectively, but I was really proud of how our guys battled and found a way to win both games. Any conference win is huge and they need to be credited with finding a way to get it done," stated Lee head coach Mark Brew.
The Flames got solid pitching from starter Seth Konkel and relief work from Michael Hendricks and Andy Rivera in the opener. Konkel threw 5.1 innings, allowing three hits, two earned runs, striking out nine and walking three in picking up his second win of the year. Hendricks pitched a pair of innings and allowed two hits and no earned runs. Rivera came on for 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit in picking up his first save of the year.
Lee's Jared Demkowicz had three hits in the win. He also scored a run. Alan Smith continued his solid plate work with two hits, including a double and scored twice while collecting a RBI. Thomas Zazzaro knocked in two runs and scored once. Ryan Beamish drilled a two-base hit that plated one run. All totaled, Lee had nine hits in the victory and committed one error.
Christian Brothers cut Lee's 4-0 lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning but the Flames salted the victory away with a single tally in the ninth. Keagan Voss and JD Goodspeed paced the six-hit Buc attack. Both had two hits including a double while Goodspeed collected a RBI. Luke Wewers also doubled in the loss. J
onathan Baldelli was the starting and losing Christian Brothers pitcher. In seven innings, he allowed four hits and four earned runs. Sam Das and Charlie Seahorn rounded out the Buc pitching.
Game 2 – International Rule
The International Rule (as voted on by GSC coaches) came into play in the 10th inning of game two and the Flames took full advantage of the situation. With the scored tied at 6-6, Demkowicz was placed on second to begin the inning. Zazzaro and Smith were hit by pitches to load the bases. Beamish got a RBI with a ground-out to the shortstop. Colton Yeager flied out to center to collect a RBI. Landon Silver singled to left to put the Flames up by the final 9-6 margin.
The Bucs were retired quickly in the bottom of their tenth inning, thanks to three outstanding innings of relief pitching by Andrew Franklin. Franklin allowed only one hit over the three frames. The Flames fell behind 5-0 as Christian Brothers tallied five runs in the opening frame. Alex Butler was tagged for five hits and five earned runs. Tyler Fairchild was excellent for the next six innings. The lefty gave up just one hit and no earned runs. He walked two and fanned eight. The rest was left up to Franklin who got his first pitching win of the year." What a performance by Fairchild and Franklin in game two. They gave us a chance to fight back into the game," praised Coach Brew. "We swung the bats pretty well overall, but stranded too many runners early. However, we found a way to get some huge hits down the stretch."
Zazzaro had a double, a pair of singles, scored twice and collected a RBI in the win. Silver blasted his third four-bagger of the season and collected three hits and a pair of runs batted in. Smith also posted his second homer of the year. He scored twice and drove in one. Dylan Standifer doubled, singled and had a pair of RBI while Yeager contributed two hits and plated one run. All totaled, the Flames had nine hits and were guilty of two errors.
Hayden Smith and Will Turner had two hits for the losers. Turner doubled and drove in a run. Smith had two RBI while Jaime Soto and Ben Brocato joined Antonio Fernandez with a hit and a RBI. All totaled, the Bucs collected six hits and had one error.