WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A bases-loaded groundball with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted McDaniel to a 4-3 non-conference baseball victory over Drew in the team's final game of the 2012 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Friday.
When Chris Longo (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe Woodbury) crossed the plate, the Green Terror (9-3) recorded its eighth straight win, matching the longest winning streak in program history, and gave 32nd-year head coach Dave Seibert his 400th career coaching victory.
Ricky LaSota (Burtonsville, Md./Paint Branch) led the offense with a 3-for-4 day to help give McDaniel its first-ever undefeated spring break trip.
Pete Tuchol led the Rangers (5-4) with three hits of his own, including a double that plated Steven DeBonis with the game-tying run in the top of the eighth.
Tied at 3-all, the Green Terror went to its fourth pitcher of the day – Andrew Monger (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) – with two on and two out in the top of the night. Monger hit the first batter he faced to load the bases but then got a flyout to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Longo reached on an infield single before a throwing error put runners at second and third.
McDaniel called on leading hitter Patrick Christopher (Union Beach, N.J./St. John Vianney), who has missed the last three games with injury, to pinch hit but Drew elected to offer the junior captain an intentional walk to load the bases and set up the double play.
After Christopher gave way to pinch-runner Hayden Athey (Potomac, Md./St. John's College), Brandon Hayward (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who went to second but Hayward beat out the double-play attempt to allow Longo to score with the game-winning run.
With two outs in the second, Drew Obergfell doubled to left and Pat Lydon followed with a single to right to stake Drew to a 1-0 lead.
Tuchol led off the fourth with a single before an error put runners at the corners and the Rangers executed a squeeze play to double the advantage.
A LaSota leadoff double and one-out single from Marshall Betts (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur) trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the frame.
In the sixth, LaSota singled to lead off the inning and James Chiorello (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) followed with a two-run dinger to take a 3-2 lead.
Zach Jones (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) pitched the first six innings, striking out nine but took a no decision.
The Green Terror opens the home schedule against Penn State-Mont Alto on Wednesday. Game time is 3:30 p.m.