Palm Beach, Fla. (March 14) -- In non-conference action on Friday afternoon, the Assumption College baseball team won for the fourth time in the last five games as the Hounds defeated American International by a 6-5 final at the Santaluces Sports Complex. Freshman shortstop Matt Murphy (Wakefield, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) was the hero for Assumption in the win as his two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth scored Michael Panza (West Haven, Conn./Notre Dame) and Ryan Connelly (West Roxbury, Mass./Boston Latin) for the walk-off victory.
Six of Assumption's first seven games this season have been decided by just one run.
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Dan Asselin led off the inning with a double and came home on a Tyler Geffert RBI single. Assumption answered in the bottom of the frame as Panza reached on a one-out single, stole second and scored on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Tom Paine (Upton, Mass./Nipmuc). The two teams scored single runs in the fourth inning as well, including an RBI single for the Hounds by Paine that scored senior Bret Clark (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Central) to tie the game at 2-2.
American International took the lead in the top of the sixth on the second run of the game from Asselin and added to that lead with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh to jump ahead 5-2. The Hounds got one back in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by junior Greg O'Donnell (Northbridge, Mass./Northbridge) that scored junior Kelvin Sims (Manchester, Conn./East Catholic), but Assumption still trailed by a 5-3 margin.
Entering the ninth down two runs, O'Donnell reached on a one-out double to get things started. After a fly out to center for the second out of the inning, senior pinch hitter Michael Smith (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme) reached on an error by the shortstop to keep the inning going. O'Donnell scored on an RBI walk by Paine, followed by the two-RBI single from Murphy to cap off the comeback victory.
Senior Cody Rocha (Fall River, Mass./B.M.C. Durfee) got the start for the Hounds, going 6.1 innings while scattering five hits with two earned runs and four strikeouts. After 1.2 innings of relief by freshman Nick Fennuccio (Keene, N.H./Keene), freshman Brad Petitpas (Boston, Mass./Worcester Academy) came in for a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the win and improve to 1-1 on the season. Cam MacDonald took the loss for the Yellow Jackets as he pitched the ninth to fall to 0-1.
O'Donnell, Paine and Murphy all had two hits each in the win, while Paine had three RBI and Panza scored a pair of runs.
With the win, Assumption improves to 4-3 overall, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 5-4 on the season.
Assumption is back in action on Saturday, March 15th to close out the spring trip as the Hounds take on Adelphi University for a Noon start at the Santaluces Sports Complex.
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