by Dan Ahl / Staff Writer
In the 18th game of the season for the Salem State Men’s Baseball team, the Vikings hosted the Tufts University Jumbos at the Central Campus Field. Vikings’ right-hander, Steve Leavitt, faced off against fellow Tufts right-hander, R.J. Hall.
In the top of the first inning, the Vikings surrendered the first run when outfielder, Oscar Kutch, hit a triple to score the first run of the game with the help of Cody McMullen.
Mike Davis quickly responded for the Vikings with a 2-run homerun to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning.
In the top of the fourth, things got chaotic when a pair of line drives put the Jumbos ahead 3-2, and a controversy sparked between both teams when an out was overturned, granting outfielder, Mike McLaughlin, an automatic first base.
The two-strike pitch made contact with McLaughlin’s leg as he swung at the ball, but it was a wild pitch leaving McLaughlin to run for first even though he struckout. The initial call was an out, but later overturned as a hit-by-pitch and kept McLaughlin at first.
With men on first and second base, McCallum took a walk that loaded the bases. A 2-run single by Kutch extended the Jumbos’ lead to 5-2; ending Leavitt’s afternoon.
Pete Gonski came on to relieve. With a man in scoring position, Gonski started off with a 1-run single to Matt Moser, a HBP to Tommy O’Hara, and a groundout to second to retire the side. It was then 6-2.
Davis was at it again in the bottom half of the 4th, hitting a second consecutive 2-run homerun to left field. Later, Alex Toomey was picked off at 3rd to end the inning.
McCallum was walked, to force home a run for the Jumbos with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. That was it for Gonski who was relieved by George Tsonis. The Jumbos pulled away after a two-run double gave them a 9-4 lead. O’Hara came in with a two-run double the next inning to give insurance runs for Tufts and make it 11-4.
In the bottom of the 7th, after giving up 2 runs and bringing his total for the day to 5, Hall was pulled for Matt Rothstein to relieve for the Jumbos. Rothstein saw only two batters however after walking Teghan Malionek and 2B Richard Fecteau to force a run and make the score 11-6.
To end it, Joe Thomas closed the game by giving up a run to Dan Connors’ grounder that brought Toomey home.
The Jumbos improved to 12-3 while the Vikings fell 7-10-1.