Hawks split with Bison, Stone ends 14-inning marathon

Sophomore outfielder Justin Stone hit a walk-off single in the 14th inning to give the Roger Williams University baseball team a split in Sunday’s doubleheader vs. Nichols College.

Brett Johnson, Herald Reporter

The Roger Williams University baseball team geared up Sunday for a doubleheader against Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foe Nichols College at Paolino Field.

Senior lefty Jimmy Smith started the first game on the mound for the Hawks. In his one-two-three first inning, he had two strikeouts and a groundout.

The Hawks took advantage of Nichols’ early mistakes. Bison pitcher Danny Hayden gave up a leadoff walk to Chris Bosco, who stole second and advanced to third on a single by senior Shane Nowak. Sophomore outfielder Justin Stone reached on a fielding error by the shortstop which allowed Bosco to score.

Smith kept his rhythm going on the mound with two more strikeouts in the top of the second.

Another rough start to the half inning for Hayden and his defense resulted in the Hawks adding another run. Junior second baseman Anthony Dominguez took a pitch to the ribs and was granted first base. Sophomore Eddy Jackson moved Dominguez along with a bunt. Dominguez kept his running shoes on and advanced to third base on a passed ball. Freshman Bryan Goodwin laid down a nicely placed bunt as Dominguez headed home on the pitch. The successful suicide squeeze extended the Hawks’ lead to two.

Nichols answered back in the top of the third with two outs. Cam Cook lined a double into centerfield, which scored Nick Roy and Nathaniel Cormier. The Hawks got out of the inning by cutting down Cook trying to stretch a double into a triple.

In the fourth inning, the Bison took a one-run lead. With two outs, Cormier flied out to center field, which was deep enough for Kyle Bouchard to score.

A RBI double by Bosco in the bottom of the fourth tied the game back up.

In the top of the sixth with two men on and two outs, Bison catcher Shay Souza hammered the ball over the left field fence, making it 6-3 Bison. This shot knocked Smith out of the game. He finished the day pitching 5.2 innings, seven hits, five earned runs and 10 strikeouts.

The Bison added one more run in the top of the seventh to seal the win of the first game.

Sophomore Justin Garcia took the ball for the Hawks in the second game and blew through the first inning with ease.

The Hawks put the first game behind them and came out swinging in the first inning. After two groundouts by Bosco and Nowak, Stone reached on a base on balls. After swiping two bags on passed balls, Stone scored on a wild pitch.

In the top of the sixth, Bison catcher Alex Stroshine singled to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a passed ball then was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Stroshine scored on a single by Roy to tie it up.

Both pitchers went deep for their squads. Bison starter StigErik McElhinney pitched 7.2 innings, only allowed three hits, gave up one run and struck out seven. Garcia went nine full innings, allowed seven hits, surrendered one run, and had eight K’s.

After multiple attempts by each team to end the game, neither team could cross the plate. It took another seven innings to declare a winner.

In the bottom of the 14th, Goodwin lined out to center field, but Bosco picked him up with a single to right. Nowak’s rope down the right field line allowed Bosco to find his way into scoring position at third. Stone smacked a long fly ball over the right fielder’s head to drive in Bosco and end the marathon game.

At the end of the day, the Hawks moved to 7-11 and the Bison have a record of 7-15. The Hawks are scheduled to travel to Eastern Nazarene College on Monday for a makeup doubleheader.