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Pesci's Walk-Off Hit Hands Baseball First Victory of Season, Defeats Fairfield in Second Game of Doubleheader, 3-2
Junior Michael Pesci
BALTIMORE—The UMBC baseball team picked up its first win of the 2011 season in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon, concluding with a walk-off single by junior Michael Pesci (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) to defeat Fairfield, 3-2, at Baseball Factory Field.
In the bottom of the ninth of the second game that was scheduled for seven innings, freshman Kevin Kean (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) doubled to left field to lead off the frame. Senior Dustin Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil College) hit a bunt single to move Kean to third before Pesci hit a long single to center to win the game for the Retrievers.
The Retrievers came close to ending the game in the eighth when junior Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) hit the wall in left center, but UMBC was unable to bring him home.
After senior Rich Conlon (Vienna Va./James Madison) scored an unearned run in the second, Himmelstein scored from first on a double by redshirt freshman D.J. Ream (Columbia, Pa./Hempfield) to tie the game at 2.
Sophomore starter Mike Mitchell (Fairfax, Va./Paul VI Catholic/Frederick CC) pitched seven solid innings, allowing just one unearned run with five strikeouts. Junior reliever Luke DiBlasi (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Arlington) (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.
Fairfield’s starter Mark Bordonaro pitched eight innings, allowing one unearned run with five strikeouts. Reliever Kyle Capaldo (0-1) gave up the Kean run in the ninth to take the loss.
Fairfield scored four unearned runs in the top of the third inning on its way to a 9-2 win in game one.
In the bottom of the eighth, freshman Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s) bunt singled to lead off the inning before advancing to third on a Ream double down the left field line. McCabe scored on a junior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) groundout, while Ream came home on a Himmelstein RBI single.
Conlon hit two doubles, while McCabe walked a season-high three times for the Retrievers.
UMBC senior starter Austin Drewyer (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) (0-2) pitched 7.1 innings, allowing four earned runs, while striking out four. Fairfield starter Brett Shulick (1-1) tossed seven shutout innings for the win.
The two teams conclude their three-game series Sunday with the rubber match at 2:30 at Baseball Factory Field.