NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior Andrew LeBlanc pitched a complete game scattering ten hits allowing just one unearned run while not walking a batter and striking out 11 leading Clark to its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) win of the season a 2-1 win over Coast Guard in the first game of a three-game weekend series.
Sophomore Daniel Lima's pinch hit RBI single in the sixth broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the difference as the Cougars improved to 5-15 overall and 1-6 in league play while Coast Guard dropped to 10-8 overall and 3-3 in the NEWMAC.
Clark struck first in the third inning as freshman Jack Kenney led off with a single moved to second on a wild pitch and scored the unearned run on a fielding error.
The Bears evened it in the fifth as senior Eric Gerken bunted for a hit, moved to second on senior Joe Petry's single, following a double steal, Gerken scored on a fielding error to tie the game 1-1.
Lima's RBI single in the sixth scored junior Brian Sullivan, who led off the inning with a double.
The Bears had several chances in the game, leaving two runners on in the first before hitting into a double play with the bases loaded to end the second. In the ninth, Coast Guard left runners on second and third.
Senior Nate Toll (2-1) was the tough luck loser as he worked the first six innings allowing six hits and two runs -- one earned, while walking one and striking out seven. Senior Curt Barrett threw a pair of hitless innings before senior Tyler Vieira pitched a scoreless ninth to keep the Bears within stirking distance.
LeBlanc improves to 2-2 on the season for Clark with the win.
Kenney was 3 for 5 to lead Clark at the plate while freshman Michael Eglow also had two hits.
Petry, senior Nolan Gallagher and junior Dave Wolinski each had two hits for Coast Guard.
The Bears pitching staff has been outstanding over the past six games posting an ERA of 0.96 in that span, but the Bears have scored just five runs in its last five games with a team batting average of .206 in the last five.
Coast Guard and Clark wrap up the three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader in Worcester, Mass. at noon.
Post Game Comments from head coach C.C. Grant