Nichols’ Ninth Inning Dooms Baseball in Worcester County Showdown

Tyler Weiss

Northboro, MA --- Sophomore Christian Naccari (Ossining, NY) laced a two-run single to right in the top of the ninth as Nichols edged host WPI, 10-8, Tuesday at the New England Baseball Complex.

The game was knotted at 8-8 heading into the ninth. With two on and one out, sophomore Kyle Bouchard (Fall River, MA) loaded the bases with a hit to right. Naccari followed with what proved to be the game-winning swing. The Engineers had two on with two outs; however, the game ended with a swinging strikeout.

Nichols jumped on the board with a sacrifice fly by Bouchard and a run-producing hit by Naccari. WPI responded with RBI singles by junior Steven Gallagher (Coventry, RI) and sophomore Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD), as well as a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman Jordan DeDonato (Danvers, MA).

The Engineers added three more in the second as senior Matt Howard (Worcester, MA) sent a two-out 1-1 offering beyond the fence in center. Bison senior Cam Cook (Phoenixville, PA) swiped home in the top of the third.

Junior Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) drilled a home run to left for the 7-3 advantage through four. Nichols began to chip away at the deficit with a pair in the fifth thanks to a passed ball and a productive out by Bouchard. Another run scored courtesy of a miscue in the sixth.

The Bison took the lead in the seventh as sophomore Ryan Nesbit (Manchester, CT) plated a pair with a two-out single to right. Patterson later leveled the score with a two-out RBI knock to center in the eighth.

Tropeano (RBI, 3 runs), Gallagher (walk, stolen base, RBI, 2 runs), Howard (3 RBI, run) and Patterson (2 RBI) all accounted for three hits while senior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) and junior Alex Palermo (Chelmsford, MA) contributed with a pair. In all, the Engineers enjoyed a 16-9 advantage in the hit column.

Sophomore David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) totaled a career-best seven strikeouts in the six-inning start. Junior Tyler Weiss (Monroe, CT) struck out a pair in the final three innings.

Bouchard finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored as Naccari was 2-for-5 with three RBI for Nichols. Senior Nick Roy (Middletown, CT) walked three times and stole two bases. Cook led the Bison baserunners with three swipes.

Nichols senior Kevin Kirley (Clinton, MA) picked up the win and freshman Matthew Stewart (Kinnelon, NJ) collected the save. Rookie Dario Tarquinio (Southbridge, MA) tied his season-best with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings. Senior Vincent Amato (Brooklyn, NY) started for the guests.

WPI (7-6) continues its home stand Thursday with Gordon at 3:30pm. Nichols (5-7) opens CCC action Saturday with a noon twinbill at Salve Regina.