CASTLETON, VT – The Thomas baseball team plated three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 7-7 tie en route to upsetting the second-seeded Husson University Eagles in the opening round of the North Atlantic Conference Tournament at Spartan Field on Friday afternoon.
Michael De Los Santos led the Terriers by going 4-for-4 with one RBI, one walk and five runs scored. Beau Ewton homered as part of his 3-for-4 day while providing three RBIs and two runs. Dominic Esposito earned the win in relief after tossing 1.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout. Nik Beeson collected his fifth save of the season after throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
Thomas (17-20) grabbed the game's first lead when Christopher Esquivel provided a one-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to score De Los Santos. The Terriers loaded the bases after De Los Santos' one-out single, Ewton's hit by pitch, followed by Ryder Kenney, who reached on an Eagle fielding error. Thomas then plated another run in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead when Esquivel contributed another sac fly that scored De Los Santos.
Husson (26-16) cut the deficit to 2-1 after a passed ball on a strike three allowed Kyle Bishop to scamper home from third for the Eagles' first run of the day. Two runs in the fifth thanks to Ryan Rebar's RBI single and Bishop's sac fly gave Husson a 3-2 lead.
Thomas pulled even at 3-3 in the sixth on Esquivel's third sac fly of the game. After Husson went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Ewton's three-run homer sparked Thomas' four-run output in the seventh inning as the Terriers charged ahead, 7-3. The Eagles kept pace and responded with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and then tied the game in the eighth when Christian Corneil scored on a groundout.
With the game knotted at 7-7 heading into the ninth inning, De Los Santos and Ewton reached on back-to-back one-out singles and De Los Santos came home after a Husson throwing error. The Terriers received two more runs later on another Eagle error to take a 10-7 lead. Following Bishop's one out-single, Beeson sat down the next two batters to seal the game for Thomas.
De Los Santos scored five of the 10 Terriers runs on the day, while Ewton and Esquivel each finished with three RBI's. Matt Rutherford drew the start and went the first 6.2 innings, recording two strikeouts.
Thomas will now face-off against the top-seeded Castleton Spartans tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM in the winner's bracket. The winner will advance to the championship round, while the loser will face Husson in an elimination game.