Waltham, MA - The Albertus Magnus College Baseball team saw their five game winning streak snapped by host Lasell College 8-5 on Tuesday night. The Falcons lost late in the game after taking the 5-4 lead following a four run rally in the top of the seventh inning before giving four runs back in the bottom of the eighth.
The game featured squandered opportunities for the Falcons as they left 12 men on base during the game including atleast one every inning of the game except the 8th.
Sophomore right hander Matthew Finkenzeller (Wolcott, CT/Sacred Heart) carried a no hitter into the 4th innings before a Lasell triple and subsequent RBI single gave them a 1-0 lead after four innings. The Falcons would load the bases and tie the game 1-1 on a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore designated hitter Matt Caputo (East Haven, CT/East Haven). The Falcons would continue the theme of the night stranding the remaining two runners.
Lasell responded with offense of their own following a lead off walk. After a called thrid strike out, freshman outfielder Andrew Pompeo (Hingham, MA/Hingham) hit an RBI double and advanced to third base on the throw to give Lasell the 2-1 lead. The Falcons brought the infield up in anticipation of a Lasell squeeze play. Lasell bunted the ball in the air as the diving Caputo, who had been inserted as a relief pitcher, had the ball in his glove before popping out plating the Lasell run and making the score 3-1. The Falcons would escape the inning following a strike out and ground out.
The sixth inning featured another Falcon reaching base before a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning. Lasell would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth making the score 4-1 before senior reliever Adam Platner (Northford, CT/North Branford) struck out Pompeo to end the Lasell threat.
Albertus would rally in the seventh when freshman outfielder Zak Sokolis (Meriden, CT/Maloney) would lead of the inning with a double. Senior shortstop Robery Bengivengo (Oxford, CT/Seymour) plated Sokolis with an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-2. Sophomore outfielder Rob Gambardella (North Haven, CT/North Haven) then singled through the right side, sending Bengivengo to third base with no one out. Junior catcher Malcom Mendez (New York, NY/Lower East Side) single to right field and scored Bengivengo before the right fielder over threw third base attempting to put out the hustling Gambardella.
The result saw Mendez at the third base with no one out and the score tied 4-4. Caputo would walk and was lifted for pinch runner sophomore Greg Babina (Oxford, CT/Masuk). Following a Falcon strike out, Babina would steal second base forcing Lasell to bring the infield in with one out and runners at second and third base. Freshman pinch hitter Victor DeSimone (Southbury, CT/Pomperaug) hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield to give the Falcons the 5-4 lead with one out and runners at first and third. After a failed squeeze attempt, freshman pinch runner Noelio Espinal (New Haven, CT/Hyde Leadership) stole second base forcing Lasell to bring their infield in. The Falcons would have a called third strike end a 12 pitch battle to make it two outs with runners at second and third and the infield playing back. A Falcon ground out would end the rally and give them the 5-4 edge heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
Platner would set the side down in order with the Falcons coming to bat in the top of the eighth. The Falcons would be also be retired in order with Lasell coming to bat in the Bottom of the eighth inning. Lasell would single to lead of the inning before freshman reliever Brent Barth (Guilford, CT/Guilford) would come in relief for the Falcons. Barth had given up a total of one earned run in his last 14 innings pitched for the Falcons. After getting the hitter down 1-2, he would be hit by a pitch to make it first and second with no one out. Mendez would catch the runner sleeping as the Falcons were able to pick off the runner at second for the first out of the inning. Barth nearly struck out the next batter looking as a borerline call went the other way and he would walk the batter to put runners on first and second with one out. A well placed Lasell bunt would load the bases with one out. Lasell would squeeze bunt perfectly to tie the game at 5-5 with one out and runners at second and third base. Pompeo squeeked a single up the middle to give Lasell the 7-5 lead. Another Lasell single would give them the 8-5 lead with the Falcons coming to bat in teh top of the ninth inning.
Albertus did not go quietly as Barth would single to left with one out. A hustling Jesse Castaldi (North Branford, CT/North Branford) would beat out the double play attempt with pinch hitter freshman Chris Rivera (New Britain, CT/New Britain) coming to bat. Rivera would dig himself out of a 0-2 hole before a called third strike check swing ended the Falcons night.
The young Falcons were eliminated from the GNAC playoffs and dropped to 11-19, 8-6 GNAC play while Lasell advances to play Johnson and Wales University and improves to 21-13, 8-6 GNAC. Albertus will finish the 2011 season with a rescheduled make up doubleheader against non-conference opponent Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT on Monday at 4:00 pm.