DeLand, Fla. – The Stetson baseball team came back from a 6-1 deficit to tie the score in the bottom of the eighth, yet couldn’t hold on and dropped its season opener 8-7 to Boston College (1-0) Friday night on Melching Field.
After falling behind by five runs the Hatters (0-1) scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning on an RBI single by Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) and then four more in the bottom of the eighth.
Robert Crews (Port Charlotte, Fla.) and Jeremy Cruz (Miami, Fla.) opened the eighth with back-to-back walks. Designated hitter Aaron Crittenden followed with an RBI single through the right side that scored Crews. With two outs Frank Florio (Long Valley, NJ) doubled deep to left field scoring Cruz and moving Crittenden to third base. Alex Hudak (Sorrento, Fla.) entered to pinch run for Florio at second and ended up scoring along with Crittenden on a single through the left side by freshman Mark Jones (Palm Coast, Fla.) and tied the score at 6-6.
Jones had an outstanding debut for the Hatters going 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBI. He also made an excellent diving play at second base.
Heading into the ninth knotted at six, Stetson allowed the Eagles to score two more runs and take a two run lead.
In the bottom of the ninth Crews reached on a fielder’s choice and then with two outs scored on a Crittenden double to left center to get Stetson within one. The tying run, however, ended up stranded at second when Kyle Maulbetsch suffered his fourth strike out of the game.
The Hatters scored seven runs on 11 hits and committed three errors in the game. Boston College scored eight runs, four of which were earned, on nine hits and committed no errors.
Robbie Powell (Punta Gorda, Fla.) took the loss in his first collegiate game and BC’s Chris Kowalski (Boston, Ma.) picked up the win to go to 1-0 on the season. Crittenden joined Jones with three hits in the game. He was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Freshman catcher Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Florio each picked up a pair of hits for the home team. Stetson starting pitcher Robby Donovan (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) threw 5 2/3 innings giving up two runs, and striking out six against just one walk.
Stetson and Boston College will be back on Melching Field tomorrow for a game at 1:00 p.m, and another at 6:30 p.m. They will complete the series with a fourth game Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Stetson fans can see and hear all the action on Hatter Vision found at www.gohatters.com. The voice of Hatters baseball Bill Topping will call the action. Tickets for all Stetson home games can be purchased on line at gohatters.com or at the gate on game day.