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Maroon Steals Game One Of Sonny Nictakis Fall World Series

Oct. 31, 2009

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - In the opening game of the Sonny Nictakis Fall World Series, the Maroon team ended years of futility against the Gold by storming back from a 7-0 deficit to win game one.

The game ended in an 8-8 tie but the Maroon team won the tiebreaker. The first tiebreaker is won by the team which makes the fewest errors. The Gold team committed two errors in the contest while the Maroon played an error-free nine innings.

The Gold team grabbed the early lead on an RBI single by senior John Spatola in the third inning. An inning later, junior Mike Sudol touched up Maroon starter Mike Dennhardt for another run via the long ball to give the Gold a 2-0 advantage. Gold starter John Leonard was dominant in his four innings. The Maroon did not register a hit or a run against Leonard who also punched out four.

The Gold roughed up junior Dave Laufer, who relieved Dennhardt, for five runs in his three innings of work. The big blow came when Spatola blasted a no-doubt, three-run home run off of a 3-0 fastball in the top of seventh to put the Gold up 7-0.

The Maroon came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning to close the gap to 7-5. After a strong two innings of relief work, junior Dane Clemens surrendered three runs to the Maroon and senior Geoff Oxley, who came on in relief of Clemens, gave up two in the frame. Junior Kyle Prohovich spearheaded the attack with a two-run single and sophomore Nate Izzo and freshman Philip Miclat chipped in with an RBI each.

The Gold answered Maroon's big inning with a run of their own in the top of the eighth when sophomore Rob Moir drove a sacrifice fly into left field off of Prohovich who was on in relief of Laufer. In the bottom of the eighth, Oxley recorded a quick out and junior Nate Bayuk came and retired the Maroon in order.

Prohovich pitched a scoreless top of the ninth as the sky grew darker over Shea Field. With the light fading quickly, the Maroon erased the three-run deficit with one swing of the bat. Freshman Matt Watson led off the inning with a single and reached second on a throwing error. Freshman Matt McGovern drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Sophomore Jim Laufer scalded a line drive to left field which found the glove of Sudol. With two outs and the game on the line, Izzo took a high fastball from Bayuk and launched it into the parking lot beyond left field for a game-tying, three-run jack. Bayuk recorded the final out of the game which was called for darkness and the Maroon won the game by virtue of the tiebreaker.

Prohovich vultured the win and Bayuk took the loss. The win by the Maroon breaks an 11-game losing streak in the Series and puts in jeopardy the Gold's stranglehold on the FWS. Coach Steve Englert's Gold teams have won the "Sonny" for nine-straight years.

The two teams will square off for game two on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Pellagrini Diamond at Commander Shea Field. Projected starters are junior Pat Dean for the Maroon and junior Kevin Moran for Gold.

Sonny Nictakis `99 was a team captain and beloved teammate, friend, brother and son who lost his courageous battle with cancer shortly after graduating from BC. The Fall World Series bears his name to honor his loyalty to BC and his passion for baseball.

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