FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Marist baseball team finished up the 2012 season with a doubleheader split against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) foe Fairfield on Friday. The Red Foxes won the first game, a seven-inning contest, 4-3. The Stags then won the second game in extra innings, 3-2.
In game one, senior right-hander Jake Rifkin (West Deptford, N.J.) - Marist's all-time leader in appearances - made his first career start in his 86th career game. He went all the way, as he scattered seven hits and two walks with one strikeout to finish the season at 3-3.
Marist opened the scoring in the first game with two runs in the top of the first, which came without the benefit of a hit. However, the Red Foxes were aided by a walk and three hit batsmen. Fairfield then tied the game in the bottom of the first on a two-run homer by Ryan Plourde. The Red Foxes took the lead back in the second when sophomore right fielder Pat Welsh (Millersville, Pa.) led off with a single, and later scored on a single by sophomore outfielder Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.).
After Fairfield tied the game in the bottom of the third, the Red Foxes scored the game's final run in the top of the fourth. Welsh drew a leadoff walk, and then scored on a two-out single by junior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.).
In the final four innings, Rifkin did not allow a Fairfield runner to get to third base, and the Red Foxes turned three double plays.
In game two, junior right-hander Chris Bielak (Sayreville, N.J.) went the first 8.2 innings, and struck out nine. He allowed two runs and seven hits. Freshman right-hander Brandon Dolan (Franklin Park, N.J.) took the loss and fell to 6-3.
The contest was scoreless until the eighth, when Berry started a two-out rally with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on a single by Shank. The Red Foxes made the score 2-0 in the ninth on a single by freshman second baseman Alec Petrone (Mahopac, N.Y.), which brought home junior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.).
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Plourde hit a solo home run to cut Fairfield's deficit to 2-1. Catcher Mike Bennett followed with a single, and was pinch-run for by Mike Maschi, who then went to second on a wild pitch. With the Stags down to their final strike, Rob LoPinto's single brought home Maschi to tie the game.
In the 10th, second baseman Sal Ciccone led off with a single. After one-out walks to shortstop Larry Cornelia and left fielder Jack Giannini loaded the bases, first baseman Anthony Hajjar ended the game with a walk-off single.
Senior designated hitter Ben Luderer (River Vale, N.J.) went 2-for-4 in the second game, and was the lone Red Fox to have a multi-hit game.
Marist finished the season exactly at .500 with a 25-25 overall record. The Red Foxes finished MAAC play at 11-12.