Thomas Baseball Tops Keuka To Wrap Florida Trip; Game Two Rained Out

Thomas Baseball Tops Keuka To Wrap Florida Trip; Game Two Rained Out

AUBURNDALE, Fla. --- With inclement weather bearing down on the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex, the Thomas College baseball team was able to get one of its two scheduled nonconference games in against Keuka (6-6) on Tuesday.

The Terriers (6-7) won game one, 5-4, after overcoming an early 3-0 deficit. Thomas led game two, 7-3, in the bottom of the fourth inning when the game was scuttled due to lightning in the area. 

Keuka's Jake Redding opened the game with a leadoff single to left center but Thomas was able to work around it and get out of the inning.

Senior Anree Benitez (Orlando, Fla. / University) singled up the middle to lead off the Thomas half of the first inning. He stole second and moved around to third on a groundout before getting caught in a rundown as freshman Zach Mathieu (Oakland, Maine / Messalonskee) reached on a fielder's choice.

Although Mathieu moved to second on the play, he was stranded there as senior Nik Beeson (Manchester, N.H. / Trinity) grounded out to end the inning.

Keuka struck with a pair of runs in the second inning. After allowing three singles to load the bases, Robert LaRue drew a two-out bases-loaded walk. Kyle Daily followed with an RBI single to center but any further damage was avoided as Terrier pitcher Dominic Esposito (jr., Portland, Maine / Deering) struck out Dave Nuzzo for out number three.

The first two Thomas batters reached on singles in the bottom half of the frame, but Keuka was able to get out of the jam unharmed as sophomore Michael De Los Santos (Robstown, Texas / Robstown) lined into a double play at first base and fellow sophomore Tristan Pena (Portland, Texas / Gregory-Portland) flew out to left to end the inning.

The Wolfpack added to their lead with a run in the third. Tyler Krowiak led off the inning with a triple to right field and scored on an RBI single by Billy McDermott.

The Terriers got on the board in fourth when Mathieu led off the frame with a solo home run to left field. Beeson followed with a hard single up the middle but was erased when sophomore Alex Curtis (Monmouth, Maine / Monmouth Academy) hit into a double play.

De Los Santos led off the Thomas fifth with a bunt single to third base, taking second when the ensuing throw went wide of first base. He scored on a Pena single to left to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Pena, who advanced to second on the the attempt to get De Los Santos at home, moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Aron Smestad (Corinna, Maine / Nokomis Regional) and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.

Rob Harris entered the game in the sixth in relief of Esposito, recording two outs before  issuing a free pass to LaRue and allowing a Daily single to put the winning run in scoring position. Freshman Isaiah Arana (Orlando, Fla. / Timber Creek) entered and promptly sat Joe Marasco down on strikes for the third out.

Beeson opened the bottom of the sixth with a single through the left side and, after a walk to Alex Curtis, scored on a sacrifice attempt by senior Joe Quinlan (Westbrook, Maine / Westbrook). Pinch-runner Derek LeBlanc (fr., Madison, Maine / Madison) scored two batters later on an RBI fielder's choice by Pena.

After Arana walked Dan Bamann to open the seventh inning, Arana was replaced on the mound by Beeson. Beeson induced a pair of groundouts before Bamann scored on a Dakota Skinner infield single to cut the score to 5-4. The Keuka rally was cut short, however, when pinch-hitter Tyler Freedman flew out to left field to end the game.

Arana was credited with the victory after starting the seventh inning with the lead. He pitched one-third of an inning while recording a strikeout and a walk. Beeson faced four batters, allowing just one hit in the seventh, for his second save of the year.

Esposito, who was named North Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday, threw five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three.

Offensively, each Terrier in the starting lineup recorded a hit with Beeson notching a pair.

Thomas Fowler (2-1) took the loss for Keuka, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Five Wolfpack pitchers combined to give up 10 hits and a walk.

Redding, Dailey and Skinner finished with two hits each for Keuka.

The Terriers return to the diamond Saturday when they travel to Husson for a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Winkin Sports Complex in Bangor.