Worcester, Mass. – Adam Chochrek (Foxboro, Mass.) had three hits including the 100th of his career, helping Clark University slug past Worcester-city rival Becker College, 16-14, in non-league baseball action on a chilly Tuesday afternoon.
The win for the Scarlet and White is their fifth in a row and their eighth in their last nine home games.
Score: Clark University 16, Becker College 14
Records: Clark University 10-2; Becker College 7-4
Location: Granger Diamond, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
In a game that featured a combined 32 hits, 30 runs and five homeruns, it was Clark's final two pitchers who shut the door and secured the win for the Cougars.
The game started off with fireworks as Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) smashed his first career homerun to deep left center field in the bottom of the first, shattering one of the University's newly installed solar power panels that sit four feet above the 12-foot outfield fence.
After the Hawks evened the score in the top of the second without registering a hit, the Cougar offense erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the frame highlighted by Chochrek's 100th hit – a three-run homerun to left. Chochrek's blast was immediately followed by the first career homerun for Andrew Thibault (Nashua, N.H.).
Becker answered back with six runs in the top of the third as Vaibhav Desai (Waltham, Mass.) drove in two runs with a double and Christopher Testa (Providence, R.I.) brought in two more with a single of his own. The Hawks then knotted the score in the fourth when Kevin Perez (Jersey City, N.J.) crushed a towering shot to left field, making the score 8-8.
Clark wasted little time getting back in front with three runs in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run single by Chris Dibble (Manchester, Conn.) and a steal of home by Kyle Shaw (Litchfield, N.H.).
Shaw and Dibble helped the Cougars tack on three more runs in the fifth. First, Shaw drove in Bonicki with an infield single and then Dibble plated two more with another two-run single.
Becker put up a five spot in the sixth to inch closer. It began with a Josiah Shepherd (Providence, R.I.) RBI triple, continued with a Desai run-scoring single and was capped by a T.J. Sempkowski (Oceanport, N.J.) three-run homer to the deepest part of the park, making the score 14-13 in favor of Clark.
The Cougars scratched across a single run in the sixth when Bonicki reached on an error and then scored on Downing's double to center.
Each team added a one more run – Becker's coming on a Desai single in the seventh and Clark's coming on a fielder's choice by Chochrek in the eighth.
After Desai's seventh inning RBI, Cam Smith (Portland, Maine) was able to get Testa to end the frame on a comebacker and then Davidoff entered and retired all three batters he faced.
Downing came on in the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced, including getting Perez swinging to end the game.
Inside The Boxscore:
Desai had four hits and four RBI for Becker and Perez and three hits and three runs scored. Shepherd drew two walks and had three runs scored, while Testa had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI.
For the Cougars, Dibble had four hits and four RBI and Chochrek had three hits and three RBI. Bonicki finished with three hits, two RBI, two stolen bases and five runs scored, while Downing went 3-for-6 with two RBI and earned the save in relief.
Clark's contest against Rivier, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been moved to Friday at 3:00 p.m. The Cougars are scheduled to be in action on Thursday when they host Fitchburg State at 3:30 p.m. Becker, meanwhile, will return to the field on Thursday as well when visit Coast Guard at 4:00 p.m.