POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist baseball team hit four homers and had eight extra base hits on the day, as the Red Foxes earned a non-conference doubleheader sweep over Lafayette. The Red Foxes won the nine-inning first game 7-1, and earned an 11-1 triumph in the seven-inning second game.
Senior right-hander Jake Rifkin (West Deptford, N.J.), who pitched the ninth inning of game one, set a program by appearing in his 84th career game. Rifkin, who has made all of his appearances in relief, broke the record of 83 previously held by Kevin Ool, who played at Marist from 2000-03.
Junior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) paced the Red Foxes offensively by going 5-for-7 with two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored on the day. Orefice homered in his first two at-bats of the first game, as he went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored in that contest. Red-shirt sophomore center fielder Mark Stuckey (Marietta, Pa.) went 3-for-3 with six RBIs and two runs scored in game two. Stuckey had a bases-clearing double in the first inning, and a three-run homer in the third.
Red-shirt senior left-hander Chad Gallagher (Southboro, Mass.) earned the game one win with 7.1 strong innings. Gallagher allowed only three hits, one unearned run and one walk while striking out three. He threw just 79 pitches and recorded 11 ground-ball outs as improved to 6-3 on the season, tying him for the team lead in wins with freshman right-hander Brandon Dolan (Franklin Park, N.J.). Dolan relieved Gallagher and did not allow a run in two-thirds of an inning before Rifkin finished the game.
In game two, junior right-hander Brett Houseal (Landisville, Pa.) pitched five sold innings to win his third straight start and improve to 3-5. Houseal allowed five hits, one run and one walk while striking out four, as he held Lafayette off the scoreboard after the first inning. Sophomore left-hander Jordan Eich (Spencerport, N.Y.) finished with two scoreless innings of relief, which included two strikeouts.
Orefice got Marist on the scoreboard first in game one with a solo homer in the first. After Lafayette tied the score in the third, his three-run homer in the third put the Red Foxes up for good. Sophomore third baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) hit a solo homer to lead off the sixth to make the score 5-1. Marist added its final two runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Orefice and RBI single by McQuail.
After spotting Lafayette a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two, the Red Foxes roared back with six in their first at-bat on just two hits. However, both hits cleared the bases - a three-run triple to dead center by senior left fielder Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) and a three-run double also to dead center by Stuckey.
The Red Foxes added another run in the second without a hit as junior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.) drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error. Stuckey's three-run homer in the third made it 10-1 Marist, and he scored Marist's final run in the fifth on an RBI single by Orefice.
Lafayette (14-34-1) was led offensively by center fielder Andrew Santomauro, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored in both games.At 22-21, Marist is over .500 for the first time this season. The Red Foxes and Leopards will conclude their three-game series at Lafayette on Sunday at 1 p.m. Junior right-hander Chris Bielak (Sayreville, N.J.) is Marist's scheduled starter.