SVC squanders late lead against Becker College
BENNINGTON — As quick as the Southern Vermont College baseball team seemed to put the game out of reach Saturday, Becker College changed the complexion of the contest just as quick as they topped the Mountaineers 12-9 in game one of the team's doubleheader.
SVC took an 8-2 lead after five innings, but the Hawks started to chip away in the sixth.
After battling for five innings, Mountaineers pitcher Ryan Richardson started to show cracks on the mound.
Becker started to find more gaps and put harder contact on the ball and that gave the Hawks more confidence to get back in the game.
A Michael Bianco double drove in two to cut the lead to four runs and then Bianco came around to score on a Daniel Diaz hit.
SVC tallied a run in the bottom half of the inning, but the Mountaineers decided to let Richardson come out for the seventh to try to finish the complete game.
That decision ended up costing them though, as Becker carried its offensive momentum over from the sixth and put up seven runs in the seventh inning to take a lead and put some distance between themselves and the Mountaineers.
Noah Rivera started the scoring with a two-run double to cut the lead to one run. William Negron followed that up by reaching on an error by the SVC shortstop, allowing Rivera to tie the game.
A second Bianco double put the Hawks ahead and Becker rolled from there.
Tanyon Ventres came on and picked up a save in the seventh, striking out two Mountaineer batters.
The first half of Saturday's game all about pitching.
Richardson was strong throughout the early portion of the contest. While Becker sprinkled in some hits, Richardson limited much of the Hawks' damage.
Evan Barrera singled in the first to score a run for Becker and Richardson walked in a run in the fourth, but those were the only runs before the late-game run.
Richardson's counterpart, Tevon Johnson, struggled with control issues throughout the day, but limited the Mountaineers' runs in the early innings.
SVC scored a run in the first, but broke through in the fourth when Cody Sullivan knocked in a run on a hit through the right side with the bases loaded. That started a seven-run inning that put the Mountaineers in a great spot, before the late-game struggles.
Six Mountaineers registered hits during the effort. Senior center fielder Zack Stacey and Sullivan were both 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored, while senior first baseman Ryan Serrato was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, two runs scored and another run batted in.
In game two of the doubleheader, after a scoreless three innings, Becker put up a crooked eight-spot for a lead it would not relinquish. SVC answered with four runs in the bottom of the box, but three-more Hawk scores in the sixth gave the visitors a steady upper hand.
Mountaineer sophomore shortstop Nick Guajardo went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI while Serrato was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Joe Braim started on the hill and took his second loss (2-5) of the day for SVC after throwing three innings.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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