WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2017 regular season got underway for the Southern Vermont College baseball team Friday afternoon with the Mountaineers making history by defeating Gallaudet University 4-1 and then 8-1 for the sweep at Hoy Field.
The front-end victory was the first time SVC won its season opener since the 2013 campaign. By taking the day-cap, Southern Vermont started the year at 2-0 for the first time ever as an NCAA-accredited program; the last time the Mountaineers were 2-0 was in the 1988-89 season when they opened at 3-0 as a member of the NAIA before the team garnered its NCAA status for the spring of 1993.
SVC is scheduled to next visit Penn State Allegheny on Saturday, March 4 for a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m.
GAME 1: Southern Vermont 4 – Gallaudet 1
SVC tacked up four runs in the top of the first for all that was needed to top the Bison. Gallaudet got one back in the bottom of the second, but that would be all of the offense the hosts could manufacture as Southern Vermont won its season-opening game for the first time since 2013 (5-3 vs. St. Joe's L.I.).
Sophomore catcher Dan Mason (Bloomingdale, N.J.) went 1-3 out of the cleanup spot for SVC with a run batted in and another scored, and junior third baseman Rob Spatafore (Mahopac, N.Y.) was also 1-3 with an RBI. Freshman designated hitter Anthony LaBella (Exeter, N.H.) was 1-1—knocking in a run and working two walks—as junior shortstop John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) went 1-4 with a run scored.
Southern Vermont senior right-hander Dylan Angelo (Amsterdam, N.Y.) picked up the win (1-0) as he surrendered just one earned run on seven hits and a walk through 6.2 innings—striking out five Bison batters in the process. Sophomore Joseph Braim (Schuylerville, N.Y.) moved from first base to the mound in the bottom of the seven and finished off the victory with a strikeout to pick up the save.
The Mountaineers couldn't wait to officially cross the plate as they chalked up four runs in the top of the first. Sophomore center fielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) got aboard with a two-base GU error to start the season, and he came all the way around on the next at-bat with the help of another Bison miscue. Arancio tagged a one-out triple to right-center, and he wouldn't stay on third for long as he was brought in two pitches later on a Mason base hit to center.
A third Gallaudet error put SVC runners on second and third, and the lead Mountaineer then crossed the dish as LaBella knocked an RBI single to the left side of the infield. Spatafore followed with an eight-pitch at-bat—the junior hitting the last of those into right field for freshman Noah DuBois (Barrington, N.H.) to trot home from third and make it a quick 4-0 upper hand for the visitors.
The Bison got on the board with a lone run in the bottom of the second to cut into the SVC lead. The hosts loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk, and an ensuing wild pitch made it a 4-1 game. Angelo bounced back—striking out the next two batters to get out of the jam. The Southern Vermont righty then faced just nine Bison through the next three innings as he tallied a pair of one-two-three frames while seeing his infield turn a double play in the bottom of the fourth.
Southern Vermont got Gallaudet to strand a runner at third in the bottom of the sixth before the hosts worked some two-out action going in the final frame. Back-to-back singles put a pair of Bison aboard—causing SVC to go to Braim in relief as the tying run came to the plate. The sophomore needed to only face the one GU batter as he got a called-third strike for his first collegiate save.
GAME 2: Southern Vermont 8 – Gallaudet 1
The Mountaineers had another solid start in game two as they put up a pair of runs in the first before adding another three in the third. Gallaudet scored once in the bottom of the fourth, but that would be it for the hosts while Southern Vermont gained some separation with two runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
DuBois had a stellar game—going 3-4 with a double, a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. Freshman designated hitter Nick Santoro (Syracuse, N.Y.) was 2-2 with two walks, three runs scored and another batted in. Arancio added a pair of RBIs and a run scored to his day as he tallied his fourth home run as a Mountaineer—that being an inside-the-parker during the top of the third.
Senior right-hander Joshua Hay (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) had a great outing with the start by allowing just one earned run on four hits in five innings on the hill; he struck out six and didn't allow a single walk while picking up the win (1-0)—that being his ninth-career victory to now rank tied for second on the Southern Vermont all-time record chart.
SVC got on the scoreboard early once again as Stacey turned a lead-off error by GU into a run when Santoro connected for a two-out, run-scoring single into left. Santoro then moved up to second before getting batted in by DuBois on a base knock to center.
Hay retired nine of the first 10 Gallaudet batters that he faced in the game while striking out two. Meanwhile, Southern Vermont provided him some more run support with three in the top of the third. Stacey started the inning with a single to left, and Arancio brought him around while using his speed to register the inside-the-park home run. Santoro followed with a double to keep the momentum rolling, and DuBois added another with two outs to score his classmate.
The hosts crossed the plate once in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of singles and a stolen base—only to see the Mountaineers answer with two runs in the next box.
Santoro worked a one-out walk to get aboard in the top of the fifth, and he then moved all the way around the diamond as DuBois tagged a two-out triple to center for the RBI. DuBois scored during the next at-bat when he scampered home on a passed ball to make it a 7-1 lead for SVC.
The Mountaineers worked out of the bottom of the fifth to make a one-out Gallaudet double fruitless, and they padded their cushion with a solo run in the ensuing trip to the plate. Junior left fielder Luigi Magliocca (Broadalbin, N.Y.) got on base with the help of a GU mishap, and he moved up 180 feet on consecutive stolen bases. Freshman first baseman Jordan Banks (Bristol, Conn.) came through with a two-out single to center for the visitors to take a seven-run lead.
SVC freshman left-hander Tyler Graham (Amsterdam, N.Y.) came out of the pen in the sixth for an inning of relief, and he put away the Gallaudet side in order during his first collegiate appearance. The Bison then loaded the pond in their final at-bat, but the Mountaineers got out of it unscathed to finish off the sweep.
– #LetsGoSVC –