GREENVILLE, SC – Despite having numerous chances to score, the Marist baseball team suffered a heartbreaking 7-6 (10 inn) loss on a walk-off home run at the Furman Paladins on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Foxes opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when redshirt senior Greg Kocinski singled, redshirt junior Chris Tracz walked and sophomore Matt Rubayo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. During the next at bat, a wild pitch allowed Kocinski to score from third and it was 1-0 Marist.
The Paladins answered in the bottom of the inning with a single, double, RBI single and RBI sacrifice fly to center field to take the early 2-1 lead.
Marist took no time to respond as in the top of the third, junior Randy Taveras singled, advanced to second on a baulk by the Furman pitcher and then stole third, before scoring on a throwing error by the third baseman that evened the score and advanced senior Andrew Rouse to second. One batter later, the Red Foxes regained the lead when Kocinski smoked his first home run of the year, a two run shot over the right field fence to give Marist the 4-2 lead.
After the Paladins scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to bring the score to 4-3, Furman took its second lead of the day at 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth with a hit by pitch, double and three run home run.
For the second time in the game, the Red Foxes answered in their next at bat in the top of the seventh. Redshirt junior Jordan Roper walked with one out and Taveras followed with a single that advanced Roper to third. Taveras then stole second and junior Frankie Gregoire laced a two run single into left field that tied things up at 6-6.
In the top of the 10th inning, Kocinski led off with his second double of the day down the right field line and Iantosca followed with a bunt single to set up men on first and third with no out. Tracz reach on an attempted suicide squeeze bunt fielder’s choice but Kocinski was called out at the plate and Marist was unable to score in the inning after that.
Two batters into the bottom of the 10th, the Paladins secured the 7-6 win with a walk off home run to right center field.
“We’re disappointed in the results overall,” said head coach Chris Tracz. “We competed for periods and need to prepare and execute better to win games. We did have a lot of positives all around the field and pieces to build on but we are long from a finished product and will be back training to get better on Tuesday.”