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Lesley Strands Fitchburg State, 8-4

Lesley Strands Fitchburg State, 8-4

Balboni and Ortiz combined for four hits in Falcons non-conference loss

SOMERVILLE, Mass. (April 9, 2013) – The Fitchburg State baseball team slipped to 9-10-1 last night after suffering a non-conference setback to the Lynx of Lesley University, 8-4 at Trum Field in Somerville. 

Lesley sophomore Ryan McQuade (Rochester, N.H.) went 3-4 at the plate with two RBI's, including a triple to right field. Classmate Ray Cohen (Coventry, Conn.) finished 2-4 with two RBI while Rob Parson (Commack, N.Y.) also knocked in two runs while scoring one of his own. 

Leading the offense for the Falcons was junior Joseph Balboni (Townsend, Mass.) who went 2-3 with two walks and an RBI, while Randy Ortiz Jr. (Danielson, Conn.) also collected two hits and scored a run. 

The Falcons opened the scoring as they drew bases-loaded walks in both the first and second innings. Senior Cody Bamforth (Vernon, Conn.) then knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, allowing junior Alex Heroux (Leominster, Mass.) to cross the plate, giving Fitchburg State a 3-0 lead. 

The Lynx then had a bases-loaded rally of their own as Kevin Hopwood (Winter Haven, Fla.), Cohen, and John Gosnell (Toronto, Canada) all reached to start the second. The Lynx got back-to-back RBI singles from sophomore Joe Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and McQuade and tied it up when Parson allowed Gosnell with a groundout to the second baseman. 

In the fifth, Lesley loaded the bases again and received a one-out single from Cohen that plated Parson and junior Tyler Plourd (Canton, Conn.) to break the tie and give the Lynx a 5-3 advantage. Lesley added one more in the inning when Gosnell knocked in a run for the third straight game when hit a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Hopwood to come across. 

Trailing 6-3, the Falcons would add another tally in the top of the sixth when a two-out Balbolni triple to centerfield pushed Ortiz Jr. across, but Gosnell was able to get a pop-out for the Lynx, stranding the runner at third. 

The Lynx would add one in the bottom half of the inning and another in the bottom of the eighth to take the victory, 8-4. 

Freshman Forrest Steevens (Wilton, N.H.) and Hopwood combined for three scoreless innings of relief to close the door on the Falcons, who stranded 15 runners on based throughout the night, including three bases loaded opportunities. Lynx starter Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) went four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out three.

Fitchburg State (9-10-1) is back in action this afternoon as it plays hosts to WPI at 3:30 p.m.