Baseball advances to MAC Commonwealth championship round in dramatic fashion

Nathan Kessler
Nathan Kessler

YORK, Pa. - A two-out, 10th-inning, walk-off single by Nathan Kessler lifted the Hood College baseball team into the final round of the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Championships at PEOPLEsBank Park. The base hit gave the Blazers a 13-12 win over Widener.

Earlier in the day, Hood defeated Alvernia 10-6 in an elimination game.

With the win, Hood plays Arcadia for the MAC Commonwealth championship at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at PEOPLEsBank Park.

Hood 10, Alvernia 6

  • Hood College used a four-run fifth inning to erase a three-run deficit and went on to win 10-6.
  • Daniel Shepherd stole a school record four bases. Brad Sawyer went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Cam Esposito had two hits and scored three times.
  • Nate Luscombe tied the season record with his eighth win of the year. Ryan Atkinson earned the save with 2.1 innings of relief.
  • Trailing 4-1 in the fifth, a two-run single by Esposito pulled Hood within a run. An RBI groundout by Shepherd tied the score before Sawyer singled in the go-ahead run for a 5-4 lead.
  • An error by Hood allowed the Golden Wolves to tie the score but Hood scored two in the seventh to take the lead for good. Shepherd drove in a run with a base hit, stole second and third and scored on a balk to make it 7-5.
  • A sacrifice fly off the bat of Jordan Patterson made it 8-6 in the eighth and Kessler came through with an RBI double before the inning was over for a three-run lead. Sawyer capped the scoring when he drove in pinch runner Brendan Mower with a ninth-inning single.
  • Dillon Dunne had three hits for Alvernia.
  • Nicholas Marotta took the loss in relief.

Hood 13, Widener 12

  • The Blazers trailed 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh but scored seven times in the frame to take the lead. The two teams went back and forth into extra innings before Kessler's hit gave Hood the win.
  • Shepherd and Staton had three hits apiece. Shepherd doubled twice and stole a base, while Staton and Drake Friend each stole two bases. Brooks Warrenfeltz had two hits and three RBIs. Drake Friend had two hits and walked twice.
  • Conor Henniges picked up the win with two scoreless innings in relief.
  • A four-run top of the seventh for the Pride appeared to put the game out of reach before the Blazers worked their second comeback of the day. Esposito led off the inning with a single and after Kessler reached on an error, Shepherd drove in a run with a double. Sawyer was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Eric Turner drew a walk to score a run. Staton followed with an RBI single and two more runs came home on the play due to an error to make it 9-8. Staton scored on a wild pitch to tie the game before Warrenfeltz gave Hood the lead with a single through the right side to score Friend.
  • After Widener tied the game in the eighth, the Blazers went ahead 11-10 in the bottom of the inning on an infield single off the bat of Friend to drive in Sawyer.
  • The Pride scored twice in the ninth to reclaim the lead 12-11. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, three straight, seeing-eye singles tied the game. Kessler went up the middle, Shepherd through the left side and Sawyer through the right side with Kessler scoring to tie things at 12-12 on Sawyer's base hit.
  • Widener got the go-ahead run to third in the 10th but with runners on the corners, Henniges induced a 4-3 double play ball to end the inning.
  • In the bottom of the 10th, Friend walked, moved to second when a pickoff throw sailed wide and then to third on a flyout by Warrenfeltz. After the second out, Esposito was intentionally walked for the second time and the Pride made a pitching change. Kessler lined the first pitch he saw up the middle and Friend scampered home for the win.

Notes

  • Hood improved to 31-10 with the two wins, the first 30-win season in the program's history.
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