Baseball Sweeps King’s for Fourth Straight Win

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (April 2, 2022) – First-year Jordan Fisse scattered four hits and junior Leo Bristow struck out four in his season debut to lead the Stevens Institute of Technology baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of King’s College Saturday in a MAC Freedom twinbill at Lipo Field.

Graduate student Hunter Silvernail and senior Ryan Finegan each had two hits and an RBI as the Ducks won the opener 6-2. Finegan drove in three more runs in the nightcap and graduated student Thomas Paulich contiuned his hot hitting with a double and two RBI as Stevens won game two 9-1. The victories moved Stevens to 18-7 on the year and to 6-2 in league play. The sweep ensured that the Ducks win their third straight conference series.

Zach Day homered for the Monarchs, who closed play 7-10 on the year and 1-7 in conference play. The Ducks have won each of the last five meetings between the programs.

“We really had to battle hard in the first one as King’s starting pitcher kept us in check,” head coach Kristaps Aldins said. “But we got some timely two-out hitting in the first and fourth innings and then we were able to put the game out of reach in the seventh.”

“Our offense really got clicking in the second game and we benefited again from some two-out hitting, especially during the six-run fourth,” Aldins continued. “Our pitching was also a headline story as Fisse and Bristow both had excellent outings. Axel JohnsonJoe Gonzalez and Alex Smith all threw a ton of strikes out of the bullpen. Last, but not least, Anthony Pron came into a high-pressure situation and was able to pick up the save in game one. “

The Ducks jumped on Shane Beyer (1-1) in the first. Senior Ryan Wall connected for a two-out single through the right side to start the rally and moved to second on Silvernail’s single through the left side. Wall would come around to score on Paulich’s RBI poke to left. The fifth-year infielder has driven in 17 runs on the season.

The single run held up as Fisse (3-1) silenced the King’s bats. The first-year right-hander allowed just one hit over the first six innings in the longest outing of his young career.

A four-run seventh appeared to break the game open. Finegan reached on a leadoff single to force a pitching change. He moved to second when Day misplayed sophomore Peter Mastropolo’s grounder. First-year Evan Pravato walked to load the bases and senior Brett Mendez singled to center to drive in a pair. Pravato would score on a wild pitch and Silvernail plated a run with a sacrifice fly to push the Ducks ’advantage to 6-0.

King’s finally got to Fisse in the seventh when the first three batters of the inning reached. Brandon’s Loner’s double to right plated the second run of the inning, but Fisse settled down to fan Seth Laky for his fifth punchout of the game. Fisse would induce a flyout to the right for the second out of the frame, but plunked John to move the tying run into the on-deck circle and force a pitching change.

Junior Anthony Pron quickly slammed the door, retiring Matt Bound on a grounder, to pick up his first save of the season.

Stevens provided Bristow (1-0) with an early cushion, scoring three times off Brennan Schneider (1-1). Junior Ben Tobio worked a one-out walk and moved to second when Schneider walked Wall. After a flyout, Paulich singled through the left side to drive in Tobio and Wall came around to score on junior Michael Reyes’ single up the middle. Pauluch would come across with the third run of the inning on a balk.

The early advantage would be more than enough for the Ducks, who had four pitchers combine on a one-hitter. In his first start of the season, Bristow retired the first two batters he faced, before Day homered to right for King’s’ only run of the contest. The junior righty struck out four and didn’t walk a batter in earning his first win of the season.

The Ducks would score six runs on four extra-base hits in the fourth to break things open. Tobio and Paulich each had an RBI double and Finegan had a bases-loaded double for the big blows in the inning.

“I also felt that our defense shined with Michael Reyes and Peter Mastopolo both making very key catches in the outfield at critical moments, “Aldins commented.”Evan Pravato also played a very strong shortstop for us today. “

Sophomore Axel Johnson relieved Bristow and walked one over two scoreless innings. Johnson, graduate student Alex Smith and first-year Joseph Gonzalez allowed just one baserunner over the final four innings and retired the final 11 batters they faced.

Up Next: Stevens closes out the three-game series against King’s on April 4 at Dobelaar Field. Links for live stats and video are available on StevensDucks.com.

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