Lynn, MA- Thanks to the hard work of the facilities staff of Fraser Field the Clemente Cup went off with just a one-game delay today on a bright, but windy day. Luis Clemente, the President of the Clemente Foundation and son of Roberto Clemente, welcomed the fans before the first game, expressing his excitement for the first ever Clemente Cup held in the United States. Both Coach Dulin and the SUNY-Canton Head Coach Joe Carbone, were part of the first Clemente Cup back in 2016 and met head-to-head in the first game of the afternoon at 1pm to kick off the action.
The Roos (3-9) jumped on the board first off the Falcons starter, Zach Leblanc (Salem, MA) after a shaky first inning from his defense. Leadoff man Brian Santana punched a single to left off a tough pitch to start the day for his team. He then took off for second for his third stolen base of the season. A pair of grounders from the Roos put runners on second and third with one out. Leblanc then forced another grounder, but a Falcons miscue allowed Santana to score for the 1-0 lead. Just one batter later another Falcons error allowed another Roo run and SUNY would hold a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first. The Falcons responded right away though, with Jorge Sanchez (Caguas, PR) leading off the game with a walk off of Roos starter of Jake Vierno. Back-to-back singles from Ivan Rivera (Brooklyn, NY) and Mitchell Lundholm (Plymouth, MA) made it 2-1 as Lundholm tallied his 41st RBI on the single. After Vierno retired the next Falcon, John Batista (Lawrence, MA) blasted a shot over the right fielder's head to plate both Rivera and Lundholm to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead. Joshua Rogers (Highlands Ranch, CO) knocked Batista in for his first RBI of the day and would get his team a 4-2 lead after one full.
The Falcons tallied another run in the bottom of the second to go up 5-2. After Vierno struck out the first two batters of the inning, Rivera drove a double to right field and then stole third with Lundholm up. Lundholm then collected his second hit and RBI of the day on a base knock to center and the Falcons would lead 5-2 after two innings. The Roos would add one more run in the top of the third after they started the inning off with two straight singles from Brandon Bautista and Collin Lynk. After a Leblanc strikeout, the Falcons tried to turn an inning-ending double play, but an over throw allowed Bautista to come around to score making it 5-3. SUNY threatened for more as they forced two consecutive walks, but Leblanc was able to get a groundout to limit the damage and it would remain a 5-3 game.
The Fisher bats stayed hot the remainder of the game as they tallied runs in each of the next four innings to go up 13-3 heading into the 7th. The offense banged out nine hits over the last four innings, including a pair of doubles, forcing Coach Carbone to go to his bullpen in the 5th. Leblanc was masterful over the last four innings, allowing just one hit to the Roos, picking up his 6th win of the season as the Falcons took the 13-3 victory after seven innings.
Mitchell Lundholm was a perfect 5 for 5 at the plate, tacking on four more RBI's giving him 44 total this season. Ivan Rivera is now 7 for 8 over his last two games, going 3 for 4 today while adding a pair of doubles in the victory. Ismael Perez (Brooklyn, NY) and John Batista were the other Falcons to collect multiple hits in the win as they combined for four hits, four RBI's and a pair of doubles. Zach Leblanc pitched a complete game, scattering five hits while striking out four for his 6th win of the season. As a team the Falcons banged out 15 hits and earned seven walks off of Roos pitching to up their win total to 18. Collin Lynk was the offensive leader for the Roos, batting .500 (2 for 4) at the plate in the losing effort.
The Clemente Cup action continues in the morning as the Falcons take on the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Hornets at 10am, with a game against the UMPI Owls to follow at 1pm. The Hornets defeated the Owls in the late game tonight, 12-2 with the SUNY-Canton Roos also defeating the Owls, 6-3, in the second game on Saturday afternoon. Follow the Falcons games live on the Fisher College Falcons Facebook page starting at 10am!