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Maroon Sweeps Sonny Nictakis Fall World Series in Comeback Fashion

Nov. 2, 2009

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Coach Jesse Woods' Maroon team slugged its way back from another late-game deficit on October 31 to win 8-6 and sweep the best-of-three series from the Gold. By winning the Series, the Maroon broke nine long years of Series misery against the Gold.

It wasn't quite the Curse of the Bambino, but the domination of the FWS by Coach Steve Englert's Gold teams over the past nine years had been both thorough and remarkable.

As in game one, the Gold jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first when senior John Spatola knocked in sophomore Anthony Melchionda, who had doubled with two outs. Maroon starter Pat Dean hung an 0-2 slider and Spatola got the big two-out, two-strike hit. Gold starter Kevin Moran got the Gold right back into dugout with a four punch-out inning. One of the four flailing Maroon batters reached when he swung over a third-strike slider in the dirt and reached base when the ball got away from freshman Anthony Italiano.

The Gold picked up right where they had left off and put up a three-spot on the strength of sophomore Rob Moir's three-run blast to right field. The homer plated sophomore Spenser Payne, who had reached on a single, and Italiano, who had reached on an error.

With the score against them at 4-0, the Maroon finally got to Moran, who went four strong (1 run, 0 earned, 3 hits, 6 K, 1 BB), in the top of the fourth when junior Mickey Wiswall, who had reached on a double, came scampering home on a passed ball. Freshman Hunter Gordon relieved Dean and pitched a scoreless bottom of the fourth. Gold reliever Tim O'Keefe posted a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of fifth and the Gold would extend their lead in the bottom of the frame.

Sophomore Matt Brazis came on in relief of Gordon, but gave way to senior Chris Kowalski after giving up an infield single to junior Garret Smith and a walk to Melchionda. Kowalski was able to retire Spatola for the second out of the inning, but sophomore Andrew Lawrence sliced a low line drive just inside of third base for a two-run double to extend the lead to 6-1.

After a lead off double by sophomore Brad Zapenas in the top of the sixth, Coach Englert went right to his closer Taylor Lasko to try for the six-out save. The heart of the Maroon order came up with big hits and pushed four runs across on the strength of run-scoring hits by Wiswall, Marc Perdios, Kyle Prohovich and Matt McGovern. Kowalski and Jay Jeannotte combined to pitch a scoreless bottom half of the inning to keep the Maroon deficit at one run.

Down 6-5 going into the top of the final inning, the Maroon tallied three runs off of Lasko. Game one hero Nate Izzo reached on an error. Senior Robbie Anston sacrificed Jeannotte, who pinch ran for Izzo, to second and Zapenas drove him in for the game-tying run. Wiswall then tripled home Zapenas and scored a pitch later on an interference call during a rundown which ensued as a result of a failed suicide squeeze attempt.

Jeannotte did give up a hit in the bottom of the inning but he struck out two to give the Maroon their first Fall World Series this decade and millennium. Lasko took the loss for Gold and Jeannotte earned the win for Maroon.

The Sonny Nictakis Fall World Series marks the conclusion of Fall baseball for the Eagles. The team will next take the field against Tulane in New Orleans on February 19, 2010.

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