SCRANTON, PA – With the game tied 5-5 against Scranton, Junior Brent Shimoda doubled in the top of the ninth to bring in freshman Alex Warren for the eventual game-winning run.
Shimoda then scored off an Evan Trausch sacrifice fly to help Vassar baseball to a 7-5 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The game served as the season-opener for both teams, and Vassar moves to 1-0, while Scranton goes to 0-1.
Vassar struck first, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. After Shimoda walked, senior Matt Martino tripled to center field and brought in Shimoda for the opening run. Freshman Adam Talwalkar batted next. In his first collegiate at-bat, the first-year beamed a home run into left field and put Vassar ahead by three.
Junior Matt McGannon started as pitcher, allowing only one hit and striking out one Royals’ batter in the first inning. The action moved reasonably quickly afterward, with McGannon striking out two more batters.
Scranton got on the board in the bottom of the third inning after Brandon Peters hit a home run into left field. McGannon struck out Anthony Tramonte next at-bat before senior Mitchell Mullock subbed in for pitching duties. The Royals knocked in another home run, cutting the game to 3-2 before the end of the third.
Vassar went 1-2-3 in the fourth, and Scranton tacked on two more runs to go up 4-2. At the top of the fifth inning, junior Jason Salerno (Dix Hills, NY) singled to left-center, and them Martino walked. With senior Robert Pinataro up to pinch-hit for Talwalkar, Salerno stole to third base. Trausch then hit a double to right field, allowing Martino and Salerno to score to put the Brewers up 5-4.
The Royals responded in the bottom of the fifth when Kevin Haag doubled to left-center. Senior Max Spencer came in to pitch for Mullock and immediately struck out his first opponent. The next batter flew out to right field, but Justin Pinckert singled next, allowing Haag to score and tie the game 5-5.
Following the fifth inning, Spencer did not allow a single hit and finished the day with three strikeouts. Junior Logan Willans tapped in to pitch at the bottom of the seventh and recorded one strikeout in the eighth.
The final inning proved to be an exciting one. Freshman Nick Greenhawt went in as a pinch hitter and singled in his first career at-bat. With a runner on first, Warren pinch ran for Greenhawt. Salerno sacrifice bunted to advance Warren to second. Shimoda then knocked in the clutch double to left field, allowing Warren to score. The Royals’ intentionally walked Martino and Pinataro to load the bases. Vassar scored the final run off the Trausch sacrifice fly.
The Brewers did not allow a single hit in the bottom of the ninth, picking up three straight outs.
Willans picked up the win and gave up zero hits in 2.2 innings pitched. Traush led the Brewers with three RBI, while Shimoda and Martino each had two runs. For Scranton, five different Royals scored runs, with Peters leading the way with three RBI.
Vassar travels to Hartford, CT, next for a neutral site game against Rivier on Sat. Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. The game will be held at Trinity College.