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Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short as Bonnies Fall in 8-7 Heartbreaker

Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short as Bonnies Fall in 8-7 Heartbreaker

Box Score (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A ninth inning rally was snuffed out on a play at the plate, sending Dayton home a winner, 8-7, over the St. Bonaventure baseball team Sunday afternoon at Fred Handler Park.

Trailing by three heading for the last of the ninth, Kevin Higgins singled and moved to second on a hit off the first base bag by Ryan O'Connor. After a Dayton pitching change, a hit batter and two strikeouts loaded the bases with two away. Flyers reliever Corey Imbriano hit Tyler Kelder to force in a run. Then, after another pitching change, a wild pitch allowed O'Connor to score from third. A poor throw from the catcher skipped past home, opening the door for Sam Fuller to chug home from third. Flyers first baseman Eddie Pursinger threw to the plate where pitcher Will Sheats made the tag and though Fuller appeared to slip in underneath the tag, the senior was called out to end the game.

St. Bonaventure fell behind 7-1 before mounting the charge in the late innings.

Three runs crossed the plate in the seventh as a wild pitch, followed by a pinch hit, two-out single from O'Connor got the Bonnies back in the ball game.

Dayton scored a run in the eighth to respond for an 8-4 advantage, but the Bonnies continued to respond.

Kelder drove a ball to the fence in right center, scoring Fuller all the way from first to pull within three. With the tying run at the plate, Alex Schutz hit a slow roller to short and the throw beat the runner by just a step to set the stage for the ninth.

Kelder and O'Connor each had two hits and two RBIs to lead the offense.

Dayton starter RJ Wager (3-1) pitched well, earning the win with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

Donovan Moffat (2-3) started for the Bonnies, striking out a career-high six batters in five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits.

The Bonnies return to action Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader at Little Three rival Niagara at 2 p.m.  

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