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Late-game heroics lead Saints to split first day of Atlantic East tournament

Late-game heroics lead Saints to split first day of Atlantic East tournament

GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. – The third-seeded Marymount University baseball team began the first day of the Atlantic East Conference tournament on Friday afternoon, splitting its games. The Saints began the day with a 12-11 victory over fifth-seeded Neumann University in 12 innings, before falling to second-seeded Gwynedd Mercy University, 6-2.

Marymount 12, Neumann 11 (12 innings)

The Saints found themselves down by four runs late in the game, but came up in the clutch to engineer the comeback and force extra innings.

The Knights scored a run in each of the first and second innings, before the Saints tied the game with two runs in the third, but Neumann retook the lead with four runs between the fifth and sixth innings.

Trailing 6-2 in the eighth, freshman David Kurzrock and senior Austin Sizemore singled and walked, respectively. Senior Michael Wade followed and ripped a double down the left-field line, sending Kurzrock home and Sizemore to third.

Marymount cut its deficit down to only one, as sophomore Bill Wojcik drove another double into right-center field for two RBI.

Senior Luke Tyree tallied his second RBI of the game on a single to cap the four-run inning and tie the score, 6-6, eventually forcing extra innings.

Senior Conner Hall came in on the mound in the ninth, not allowing a hit over his first-two innings of work to keep the game even.

After the Knights were able to come up with a run in the 11th, the Saints again had the answer with an RBI double by Sizemore to force the 12th.

Neumann again found its offense, taking a four run lead, looking to put the game away, 11-7, but Marymount again would not go down.

The Saints quickly got two on to start the bottom of the inning; Tyree pushed the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Casey Baker then drove the runners home with a single, cutting the Knights' lead to 11-9.

Hall kept the rally going with a single, and freshman Avery Shepherd reached after being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sizemore came through with another timely hit, driving two runners home on a single to tie the game, while Baker advanced to third.

Wade came to the plate with the chance to take the game, coming through with a single to left, scoring Baker and completing the walk-off, comeback win.

Wade led the team with four hits in the game, while Sizemore and Baker each drove in three RBI.

Gwynedd Mercy 6, Marymount 2:

The Griffins started quickly with two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead over the Saints, but strong starting pitching from both teams kept the score stationary for the next four innings.

Sophomore Ryan Bergenhagen made the start of the Saints, only allowing two hits over the first-five innings. He struck out six in the game, while only allowing two earned runs.

Gwynedd Mercy's R.J. Boyle held the Marymount offense to four hits through the fifth inning, but the Saints cut into the lead in the sixth.

Wade came through with a two-out, RBI double, after Kurzrock singled to get on, bring the score to 2-1.

The Griffins added two runs in their half of the inning, but sophomore James DiGiulian added another run for the Saints in the seventh.

After senior Nick Smutko doubled, he advanced on a wild pitch. Smutko came home on a ground out by DiGiulian to bring the Saints back within two, 4-2.

Singles by Hall and Kurzrock to lead off the eighth gave the Saints a pair of base runners. They advanced into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by Sizemore, setting the team up for another possible comeback.

However, the Griffins were able to keep the Saints from scoring, before adding two runs in the bottom of the inning to increase the lead to 6-2 and taking the game.

Tyree finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the team, while Wade and DiGiulian each knocked in one RBI. Smutko and Kurzrock each added two-hit games, as well.

The Saints and Griffins will now move onto day two of the conference tournament first-round pod on Saturday, May 4 to determine who will advance to the next round. The first pitch of the game is set for 11 a.m., with the potential of a second, if the Saints win the first.