May 25, 2011
Game 2 Photo Gallery
CAMDEN, N.J. - A costly Dayton (30-26) error allowed a Brendan Norton ground-ball to get through the right side, scoring what would prove to be the game-winning run and giving sixth-seeded La Salle (28-24) the narrow, 6-5, victory over the Flyers after 13 hard-fought innings in the opening round of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Baseball Championship, Wednesday afternoon at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J.
"Heartbreaking game," commented La Salle skipper Mike Lake. "Both teams battled for 13 innings. [Kevin Fuqua] was pitching real well then we had a few miscues in the field. We gave the game back. Both pitchers came in and threw very well. We knew it was going to come down to a couple timely hits and good defense. Our pitcher Kevin Christy came in and threw 3 2/3 innings of relief and then Pat Christensen came in and shut the door."
With the win and second upset of the afternoon, La Salle betters its record to 28-24 on the season and advances to the second round of the Championship to face second-seeded Rhode Island tomorrow at 3:30PM, while Dayton falls to 30-26 overall and will take on No. 4 Xavier later this evening.
Dayton's Mike Coughlin opened the scoring, blasting his second homer of the season over the left field wall and giving the Flyers the early 1-0 advantage.
Senior second baseman Jeff Flax, an All-Conference honorable mention, started the Explorers' fourth-inning scoring spree, hitting an RBI-single to left field that would bring home Brendan Norton to knot the score at 1-1. La Salle took the 2-1 margin after Dayton's Burny Mitchem walked Joe Bennie and Dan Klem crossed the plate. Zack Feierstein followed with a two RBI-single to right, scoring Marc Schoch and Flax, before Bennie came home on a wild pitch.
Flyer first baseman C.J. Gillman worked his way around the bases in the in the bottom of the fourth to help UD cut La Salle's lead to 5-3, as the Columbine, Colo., native doubled down the left field line, advanced on a wild pitch and scored off a Zach Stewart ground-out.
After two scoreless innings, Dayton used four hits in a three-run seventh inning to even the score at 5-5. Danny Welch got on base first, as he singled to right field, before Jimmy Roesinger was hit by a Kevin Fuqua pitch. With two on and one out Jonathan Castine drilled his first triple of the season to right field, registering a pair of RBI, as Welch and Roesinger scored. Brian Blasik would then bring Castine home for the game-tying run, singling through the left side.
The two teams would battle through the next five innings before Norton's at-bat and a Flyer error at second base would allow Feierstein to score the go-ahead run and secure the 6-5 victory for La Salle.
La Salle's Pat Christensen (3-2) earned the win on the mound, hurling 2.0 innings of relief with one strikeout, while Dayton's Mike Hauschild (9-7) took the loss, after six innings of work with four strikeouts and two walks.
Live audio and video will be provided during the Championship to fans, free of charge, through the Atlantic 10 website - www.atlantic10.com. Live audio of the Championship will be available, May 25-26, while the games on May 27-28 will be web-streamed.
Tickets are available through the Campbell's Field box office or by calling 866-742-7579. Single-day tickets are available for $8 for adults and $4 for children, students with a valid ID and senior citizens. On Saturday, during the noon game, the first 100 kids to enter will receive an A-10 duffle bag and water bottle.
NOTES: The 13-inning outing between Dayton and La Salle marked the fifth longest game in A-10 Baseball Championship history...the longest game went 17 innings in 2006.
QUOTES FROM LA SALLE HEAD COACH MIKE LAKE COACH LAKE FROM THE LASALLE
On the 13 inning game:
"Heartbreaking game; both teams battled real well. [Kevin Fuqua] was pitching real well then we had a few miscues in the field. We gave the game back. Both pitchers came in and threw very well. We knew it was going to come down to a couple timely hits and good defense. Our pitcher Kevin Christy came in and threw 3 2/3 innings and Pat Christensen came in and shut the door."
On Brendan Norton:
"Fantastic play. He's the catalyst to our team, leadoff hitter and the one with all the speed. He's the one who makes things happened. He made things happened today by getting on base. Came up with a key hit and hit the ball very hard."
On facing Rhode Island:
"They are a real good team. We are taking it one game at a time. We are happy but we can't be satisfied. We have to come out tomorrow and play real hard."
QUOTES FROM LA SALLE'S BRENDAN NORTON
On at bat which led to go ahead run:
"The at-bat before, I noticed [Tim Corbey] was throwing a lot splitters. He continued to throw splitters in that at bat. I figured I'd make an adjustment sooner or later and he just hung one".
On La Salle Bullpen:
"Our bullpen all year has been great. Pat [Christensen] and Kevin [Fuqua] come in almost every game and they feed off each other's energy. Kevin came in and was absolutely amazing and then Pat came in and shut the door on them."
On winning the first game of the tournament:
"It's great. Last year we lost our first game, had to come out at night, and play a doubleheader, which was tough, but this year getting that first win was big. We play Rhode Island; hopefully we can get revenge on them and keep rolling."