NCC walks off Bergen 7-6!
Bethlehem Pa- The NCC Spartans were in trouble of dropping game one of a doubleheader on Saturday, May 7 at Spartan Field. The Spartans were down 6-5 to the Bergen Bulldogs with runners on first and second with one out. However for the second straight day, the Spartans would find their last inning magic. Cole McGourty hit a 2 RBI double off Bergen reliever Stephen Crandall to give the Spartans a 7-6 walkoff victory!
After a scoreless first inning, the first 3 batters for the Bulldogs reached safely in the top of the 2nd. Thomas Jova cleared the bases with an 3 RBI double off NCC starter Ethan Woods, though he would be thrown out going for a triple. The Spartans would get 2 runs back in the bottom half of the 2nd thanks to RBI singles by Gabe Caso and Josh Herman.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 4-2 in the 3rd when Julian Pinto grounded into a double play to score Luis De La Cruz. The Spartans would begin to find their rhythm in bottom of the 4th. Caso led off with a walk and Herman would reach on an error by the shortstop. Alexander Kok would hit a long double of Bergen's starter Daniel Kiritsis to drive both runners in and tie the game at 4. The next batter, Caleb Walker, hit a long single to drive Kok in and give the Spartans their first lead of the game.
The Bulldogs would tie the game in the top of the 5th when Ryan Dacey hit an sacrifice fly to bring Yonathan Vargas home. After Crandall held the Spartans scoreless in the bottom 5th, RJ Mehnert crushed a 0-2 fastball from Woods to give Bergen the lead back 6-5 in the top of the 6th. The game would remain the same until the fateful bottom of the 7th. After Jeff Sabater grounded to second to lead the frame off, Brandon Ratti tripled and Shane Fillman followed up with a walk. That set up McGourty's walkoff heretics to end the game!
Woods earned his 4th win of the season going the distance , allowing 9 hits and recording 5 strikeouts. Kiritsis went 4 innings, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 6. Crandall took the loss, pitching the final 2.1 innings with 2 runs and 2 strikeouts. The victory cliched the series for the Spartans, who rallied in the 9th for a 5-3 victory the previous day. The win also improved the Spartans's record to 25-13, while the Bulldogs dropped to 17-23 on the season.