FORT MYERS, Fla. - A five-run fifth inning for the Crusaders of Alvernia College spelled the first defeat for Salve Regina University baseball in a Gene Cusic Classic meeting at Terry Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
Sophomore lead-off hitter Ryan Kelly (Waldwick, N.J.) batted first and reached first when he was hit by a pitch. Kelly wreaked havoc on the base paths, advancing to third on an error by the Crusader first baseman, and then scoring on a balk by the pitcher.
Alvernia had lead-off hitters in the first three innings reach on basehits off freshman starter Frank Lemieux (Marshfield, Mass.). Lemieux stranded three Crusader runners over his first two innings of work, but three hits off the right hander in the bottom of the third delivered the game-tying run.
After Lemieux retired the first batter in the fifth, he walked the next two Crusaders before giving way to reliever Garrett Franzoi (Dallas, Texas). Santino Alteri singled to load the bases before Richie Ricciardi broke the tie with a two-run single. Cameron Coons added an RBI single; another run scored after an error and a fifth run came across on a sacrifice fly.
In the Seahawk sixth, Daniel Donohue (Westbury, N.Y.) doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Colby (Easton, Conn.). Kelly tripled with two outs in the seventh and came home on Donohue's single.
Kevin Becker-Menditt pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn a save in the 6-3 Crusader victory. Salve Regina suffers its first loss of 2014; the Seahawks have an off-day on Tuesday before meeting St. Lawrence University for a single game on Wednesday at Terry Park.