ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Playing their first home games in nearly two years, the St. Bonaventure baseball team fell in a pair of games vs. La Salle Saturday afternoon on a brilliant day for action at Fred Handler Park.
La Salle (10-7) took game one by a 6-3 score and held on in the nightcap, 4-1.
In both games, the Explorers built early leads and withstood rally efforts from the Bonnies in the late innings.
GAME 1 – LA SALLE 6, ST. BONAVENTURE 3 | Box Score (PDF)
La Salle took a 5-0 advantage through the first three innings of the opener.
Three runs crossed the plate in the first inning as the Explorers worked back-to-back walks to open the game and an early 1-0 lead on a double down the left field line from Elijah Dickerson just three batters in. A sacrifice fly brought home the second run before a passed ball brought in Dickerson.
La Salle added two more in the third and another tally in the fourth to lead by six.
St. Bonaventure (0-5) got on the board in the fourth on a home run to center off the bat of Tyler Kelder.
In the seventh, the Bonnies did not go quietly, starting a rally on a single from Kevin Higgins. Branden Myers then doubled home Higgins and a single from Garrett Boldt brought in two more. A fly ball and a strike out ended the threat, however.
Kyle Caringi was effective in relief, working 3.1 scoreless innings without allowing a hit while walking one and striking out two. Elijah Baez started and battled control issues early, allowing four earned runs six hits, walking six in 3.2 innings.
GAME 2- LA SALLE 4, ST. BONAVENTURE 1 | Box Score (PDF)
A four-run fifth proved the difference in the second game.
Scoreless in to the fifth frame, the Explorers used a little luck to open the door. Nick O'Day opened the inning with a blooper down the right field line that bounced between three defenders and turned into a triple. Will Binder followed with another well-placed hit, squeaking up the middle for the game's first run. An infield hit put two aboard for Tatem Levins who drove in a pair with a single to right.
Bona got on the board in the sixth following consecutive one-out doubles from Myers and Brendyn Stillman. In the seventh, Jackson DeJohn worked a leadoff walk and Jack Putney was hit by a pitch. The Explorers went to the bullpen, and Colin Yablonski put out the fire to end the game and earn the save.
Frank Elissalt (3-0) got the win, tossing six innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts.
Donovan Moffat worked a complete game on the mound for the Bonnies, allowing four runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
The two teams are slated to play another doubleheader at noon Sunday, weather permitting.