Worcester, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus College baseball team lost to Johnson & Wales, 7-0, on Thursday evening in the opening round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament at Clark University. After a postponement and a 24-hour suspension of play due to inclement weather, the Falcons and Wildcats finally took the field in post-season play.
Albertus Magnus moves to 13-21 with the shutout setback, while Johnson & Wales won their second straight contest to advance to this weekend's double elimination portion of the tournament.
On the mound for the Falcons junior starter Christopher Rivera (New Britain, Conn.) was saddled with the loss, tossing four and two-thirds innings and allowing five Wildcat runs. Classmate Tom Moore (East Haven, Conn.) threw three innings for AMC and Jon Criscio (East Haven, Conn.) came in to get the final out of the contest for Albertus.
On the opposite side, Jake Marchessault went the distance and scattered just six hits en route to the complete-game shutout. He had his arguably his best outing of the season, only allowing one runner to reach third base – a triple by AMC freshman Dean Gullo (Northford, Conn.) with two outs in the fifth – as he improved to 5-1. Marchesseault struck out five batters while throwing 138 pitches.
Johnson & Wales got all the offense Marchesseault would need in the fourth on only two hits. Rivera walked three batters during the frame, including Rob Ballinger with the bases loaded to score Frank D'Amato. Rivera took the loss as he gave up five runs on six hits.
The Wildcats made several defensive plays to preserve the shutout. With runners on first and second an no outs in the fifth, Marchesseault picked off freshman Robert Perazella (Wolcott, Conn.) at third then got Mike Browne (New Fairfield, Conn.) diving back into first base later in the frame. After a triple by Gullo, JWU got out of the jam as shortstop Lou Umberto followed with a running throw to get the speedy Tyriq Harris (Waterbury, Conn.). Right fielder Carlos Sanabria made a running over the shoulder catch in the sixth and second baseman Jordan Pilarski charged a ground ball to throw out senior Steven Lockman (Wallingford, Conn.) in the seventh.
Senior outfielder Ted Gravel (Morris, Conn.) and Perazella had two-thirds of the Falcons hits as they each picked up a pair of singles.