Hartford, Conn. - The Nichols College Bison scored three runs in the opening half inning and held the lead for the remainder of the game, coming away with a 6-4 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in a non-conference baseball matchup under the lights at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium on Monday night. Trinity loses for the first time in six games, falling to 19-5 on the year while the Bison improve to 17-12 overall. Trinity returns to action on Tuesday for a home game versus Brandeis at 6 p.m.
Nichols jumped ahead early with three runs in the top of the first. Christian Naccari (Ossining, N.Y.) got things going with an RBI-single that scored Joe Assenza (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) before a Bantam throwing error allowed Kyle Bouchard (Fall River, Mass.) to come across. Naccari later scored on an RBI-groundout off the bat of David Caron (Branford, Conn.) to cap off the Bison scoring in the first.
The Bison scratched across another run in the second on a sacrifice fly from Assenza to open up a 4-0 lead.
Trinity finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two-run shot to right field off the bat of junior RF Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.). Senior tri-captain Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) worked a walk ahead of Koperniak who proceeded to hit a laser that just cleared the top of the right field wall to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Nichols got one back in the top of the seventh on an RBI-single off the bat of Assenza to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Riley Parent (Windham, N.H.) set the table with a two-out infield single before swiping second to get into scoring position. Assenza followed with a base knock through the left side of the infield that allowed Parent to score standing up.
After a Nichols insurance run in the eighth to make it a 6-2 game, Trinity chased Bison starter Justin Hurley (Burlington, Mass.) after loading the bases with two out in the bottom half. Brody Altiere (North Adams, Mass.) came on and allowed a two-run single up the middle to Trinity senior CF Geoff Stillman (Scituate, Mass.), but got the third out before any more damage was done.
Trinity sophomore hurler Max Barsamian (Weston, Mass.) struck out the side in the top of the ninth to keep it a 6-4 game as the Bantams needed two runs in the bottom of the ninth to stay alive. Trinity got the tying run to the plate after junior LF Brett Stevenson (Southport, Conn.) was hit by a pitch with one out, but Altiere induced a pop out and struck out the final batter of the game to seal the victory.
Hurley improved to 2-3 on the year, going 7.2 innings while striking out five and allowing just two earned runs. Altiere gave up just one hit and earned his fourth save of the year. Koperniak went 2-for-5 with a double and a home run while Stillman added a pair of hits as well for the Bantams. Junior DH Mack Lauder (Chappaqua, N.Y.) recorded a game-high three hits with a 3-for-4 night along with a stolen base.