Winter Haven, FL- The MCLA Baseball team stormed back from five run deficits in the seventh inning of both ends of the doubleheader as the Trailblazers walked off in game one 6-5 and then stunned Olivet 11-8 in the nightcap to sweep a doubleheader from the Comets. With the wins, the Trailblazers even their mark at 2-2 while Olivet is still in search of their first win as they are 0-7.
In game one, Olivet built up a 5-0 lead over MCLA with just one hit on the board. The Comets parlayed some wildness from MCLA pitching and some speed on the basepaths for the seemingly comfortable lead. Things changed for MCLA in the bottom of the seventh inning however.
Olivet starter Aiden Holliday began the inning as he cruised thru the first six frames blanking MCLA. Brett LaBonte singled to start the frame and when Holliday walked Andrew Casteel, the Comets opted for the bullpen. MCLA's Myles Candelet singled to load the bases and then Joe DiMassimo ripped a liner into center field that was misplayed into a double allowing a pair of runs to score making it 5-2, still with nobody out.
An error plated another run and put the tying run on base bringing Schamal Forbes to the plate. His RBI knock made it 5-4 and when Jonathon Parker lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, the game was tied 5-5 with just one out. Olivet opted to walk Bill Pulasky intentionally to load the bases for LaBonte, and he promptly drilled a deep ball into left field giving the Trailblazers the come from behind victory in game one.
LaBonte had three hits to lead the offense for MCLA while Candelet, Joe Toledo, Dimassimo, and Forbes each had a pair. Eamonn Andre earned the win in relief of starter Schuyler Robinson who tossed the first five innings.
In game two, Olivet once again jumped ahead of MCLA. After MCLA tooka brief 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Comets plated one in the third inning to tie it up. MCLA added a pair of runs in the fourth to make it 3-1 only to see the Comets score three in the bottom half to take the lead 4-3.
Olivet seemed to break it open in the fifth when Austin Cleaver drilled a two out Grand Slam putting his team in front 8-3 and the score stayed that way until the top of the seventh when MCLA once again answered.
A walk and a hit batter ignited the rally and eventually MCLA loaded the bases without an out. A fielders choice brought in the first Trailblazer run of the inning followed by a Toledo single making it 8-5 in favor of Olivet. Parker would then belt a triple into right center field plating two more runs and it was now 8-7 with the tying run just 90 feet away.
Travis Petts relieved Olivet starter Aaron Gillespie and gave up an RBI double down the left field line to Pulasky tying the game. LaBonte once again came up clutch as his single into right plated Pulasky with the go ahead run making it 9-8 in favor of MCLA.
The Trailblazers would add two more runs on an infield miscue and a double steal to make it 11-8 in favor of MCLA heading to the home seventh. Freshman hurler Austin Miller came on to close it and after a leadoff walk gave the Comets hope, he induced a 1-6-3 double play to kill the rally. A fly out ended it giving Miller his first collegiate save in the process.
MCLA had just one hit heading into the pivotal seventh inning when they exploded for seven hits. Nick DiSanti was the only Trailblazer with two hits while Parker scored three times and drove in two runs.
The Trailblazers will be back in action tomorrow when they battle Plattsburgh State in Winter Haven.