Auburndale, FL- MCLA's Brett LaBonte delivered a walk off single in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the baseball program to a dramatic 5-4 comeback win over Illinois Tech on Sunday morning before the Scarlet Hawks held on for a 7-5 game two victory. MCLA is now 2-2 on the season while Illinois Tech is now 2-1 on the season with the split. The Trailblazers will be back at it tomorrow morning when they challenge Cazenovia at 9:30am.
The Trailblazers and Scarlet Hawks were tied 3-3 after three innings of play as both starting pitchers were removed. From there, the bullpens took over. Neither team gave up a run over the next four innings and the game would go to extras.
In the top of the 8th, the Scarlet Hawks would push a run across off Trailblazer reliever Kody Crosier to take a 4-3 advantage. Brody Farnum came on and limited the damage heading into the bottom half of the frame.
Christian Seariac led off with a walk and was advanced to second on Logan Rumbolt's sac bunt. Bill Pulasky drove in Seariac with a single to center field and he advanced into scoring position on the throw. After pinch runner Brandon Condon was inserted, he scampered home with the game winning run on LaBonte's clutch hit up the middle giving MCLA the win.
Rumbolt ended with a pair of hits while Pulasky drove in two runs to lead the offense. Seariac scored two runs out of the leadoff spot. Shawn James started and tossed the first three innings collecting 7 strikeouts, but yielding 3 earned runs. Frank Rickus was great out of the bullpen tossing three scoreless frames.
MCLA got off to a good start in the nightcap leading 3-2 after an inning and a half, but Illinois Tech quickly responded. They scored six runs over the first three innings parlaying some key hits and Trailblazer wildness into their offense.
Ted Howell had the key hit with a three run double in the second frame to lift the Scarlet Hawks to the big lead. MCLA touched up Illinois Tech starter Ryan Cantlin for 12 hits in six innings, but they couldn't capitalize with a key hit.
They finally broke through in the top of the sixth inning when Joe Dimassimo doubled home Logan Rumbolt and Christian Seariac slicing the deficit to 7-5. Illinois escaped further damage by getting game one hero LaBonte to fly out.
MCLA wouldn't go quietly in the seventh either as they quickly put two runners on and Jake Ferrara's bunt moved them into scoring position with just one out. Ben Durland would pinch hit and line out to second base bringing Seariac to the plate. He flied out to left field to end the Trailblazers rally and give the Scarlet Hawks the win.
Jeff Bink was outstanding as he went 4-4 in the nightcap to lead a 13 hit attack. Rumbolt added three safeties while Seariac collected a pair of hits and scored a pair of runs. Sam Haaf took the loss after relieving starter Brendan Kelly after just 2/3 of an inning after struggling with wildness.