PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Down six in its last chance at bat, Johnson & Wales hung a seven-spot on the board highlighted by a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam by junior Francisco Diaz (San Juan, Puerto Rico) to give the host Wildcats a dramatic 13-12 victory over UMass Dartmouth. The non-conference victory helped JWU to a 19-11 record on the season while the Corsairs fall to 12-16 on the year.
How it Happened
- A first inning Jack Harrington (Barnstable, Mass.) check swing got the job done for the Corsairs as he grounded a ball to the second base hole that Wildcat junior Rich Bourdeau (Pawtucket, R.I.) booted which allowed leadoff hitter Chris Wood (Berkley, Mass.) to score the initial run of the ballgame after walking and stealing second earlier in the frame (1-0).
- Corsair senior Pat Vartanian (Canton, Mass.) ripped his team-leading 10th double of the season to left for an RBI, doubling UMass Dartmouth's advantage (2-0).
- UMass Dartmouth junior Nick Andrews (Raynham, Mass.) then rung in the second with a stand-up double off the left centerfield fence, swiping third a moment later. The offering to freshman Jon Candiales (Attleboro, Mass.) got away from host catcher Adam Diehl (Cypress, Texas), allowing Andrews to score (3-0).
- Bourdeau later redeemed himself in the home half of the second by doubling down the line just out of the reach of a diving Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) for an RBI knock (3-1).
- Making his first career start for the Blue and Gold, freshman Nick Carr (Sandwich, Mass.) registered his first collegiate hit on a base hit to center in the fourth. Those behind him in Andrews and junior Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) followed up with a single and a hit by pitch, respectively, to load the bases ahead of Candiales' run-scoring base on balls (4-1). The Corsairs then stretched it to a four-run game when Wood beat out the back end of a double play ball for an RBI fielder's choice (5-1).
- Johnson & Wales retaliated in its next turn at the dish as its first four hitters went triple-single-triple-single in that order to quickly make it a one-run affair (5-4). UMass Dartmouth preserved the lead after newly inserted pitcher Mike Sollitto (North Providence, R.I.) promptly induced a double-play ball before Wildcat junior Colby Greenhalgh (Plainfeild, Conn.) was thrown out at third on a relay from right fielder Carr to Candiales to Knell.
- The Corsairs built a fence on the scoreboard from the fifth through seventh innings, including a Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) solo shot to put the team up four (8-4). The host offense reappeared in the seventh on Diehl's two-run double to split the difference (8-6).
- UMass Dartmouth put up four more in its final pair of turns in the box, highlighted by another Vartanian extra-base hit that helped the visitors to a 12-6 advantage.
- In the ninth, it was Diehl once again that brought home a run, this time on a bases loaded walk (12-7). A single and sac fly ensued to get Johnson & Wales within three before pinch-hitter Diaz connected for the walk-off grand slam (13-12).
Inside the Numbers
- The Corsairs collected 18 hits this afternoon for a new season-high, eclipsing their previous of 17 done twice this season.
- UMass Dartmouth scored in every inning but the third.
- Vartanian's 11 doubles are tied for third most in the Little East Conference.
- Seven different members of the Blue and Gold logged RBI's, with eight getting hits. The squad tied a season-high five stolen bases.
- Wood has scored in three straight ballgames for the Corsairs.
- With four hits in his ledger today, Knell notched a single-game career-high. The third baseman is working on a seven-game hitting streak and has collected a hit in 15 of his last 16 contests. Eight of those 15 have been multi-hit outings.
The Wildcats take to Albertus Magnus on Monday for a twinbill slated to start at 4 p.m. Head Coach Bob Prince's squad takes the weekend off before traveling up to Little East rival #3 Southern Maine on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
(Recap, photo by: Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)