May 4, 2007 PHILADELPHIA - A two-run eighth inning rally pushed La Salle past visiting Dayton, 5-3 in the opener of a crucial Atlantic 10 Conference baseball series on Friday at Hank DeVincent Field. The Flyers (17-28, 6-13 A-10) and Explorers will meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.
The Flyers put up two runs in the second and another in the third, but were then shut down by an Explorer pitching staff that recorded 11 strikeouts as Dayton stranded seven runners on base throughout the game.
UD matched LU with seven hits each including a single, double and a RBI off the bat of Frank Tedesco. Michael Massa, Jeff Mercer and Cole Tyrell each doubled and scored a run while Tyrell added an RBI on the afternoon.
Flyer starter Chris Rubio was solid for most of the day but suffered his second straight loss and fell to 5-6 on the year. The senior righthander allowed five runs on seven hits while striking out five batters in 7.1 innings pitched.
La Salle opened the scoring with a solo run in the bottom of the first. After Chris Rubio retired the opening two batters, John Rickards was hit by a pitch to give the Explorers their first base runner. Then Rich Prall followed with a double into the gap, which gave LU a 1-0 lead.
Dayton answered back with a pair of two-out runs of its own in the top of the second inning. Jeff Mercer ledoff with a double that one hopped the wall in right centerfield. Then after a pair of outs, Cole Tyrell pulled a RBI double down the left field line to knot the score at 1-1. Frank Tedesco followed with a hard groundball into the hole on the left side of the infield that allowed Tyrell to score from second and gave UD a 2-1 advantage.
Michael Massa started another Flyer rally in the top of the third with a leadoff walk. Scott Dunwoody advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Then Massa moved himself to third with a stolen base and Bobby Getty delivered with a one-out RBI single through the left side of the La Salle infield to increase the Dayton lead to 3-1.
The Explorers cut into the Flyer advantage with a solo homer to right field by T.J Chism in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it a 3-2 score.
La Salle evened the score in the bottom of the sixth as Chism legged out a one-out triple to right centerfield. He then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Justin Handler to knot at game at 3-all.
LU took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when the Explorers beat out a pair of eye lash plays on ground balls to the left side which allowed the first two runners to reach base. Then after a UD pitching change, La Salle squeezed out a pair of walks to plate the go-ahead run. The Explorers added another when the next batter was hit by a pitch to escape with a 5-3 victory.