BEAUMONT, Texas – New team, Same exciting finishes. Just like they became accustomed to last season, the 2017 Fairfield University Baseball team persevered and found some magic late in the game. Kevin Radziewicz’s 2-out RBI double in the top of the ninth gave the Stags a 7-6 lead and Mike Bonaiutosealed the game by getting Preseason All-American Reid Russell to fly out to complete another wild victory.
The Stags (1-0) took a 6-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning when Mitch Williamsclubbed the first 2-out RBI for the team on the evening. Williams took the first pitch he saw in the at-bat and lined it up the middle driving in both Radziewicz and Mac Crispinoto stretch the Fairfield advantage.
Much like he did all night long, Russell brought Lamar (4-1) back in the game, tying the contest with a three-run shot in the eighth, which drew the game at 6-6. It was the second home run of the night for the reigning Hitter of the Year in the Southland Conference.
The perseverance of the Stags was on display in the ninth when Fairfield mounted the game deciding rally. With Michael Contiat third base and two outs, lined a 2-1 pitch down the right field line, plating the eventual game-winning run.
Russell was the only real damage allowed by starter John Signorewho surrendered three runs over six innings. The big blast came off the bat of Russell with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first to open the scoring.
The Stags tied the game in the sixth inning when a throwing error plated Radziewicz and Conti. Fairfield took a 3-2 lead when Jack Gethingsbrought in a run with a sacrifice fly.
For the second-straight year the Stags won their season opener, defeating Lamar in the first-ever meeting between the two squads. The Cardinals drop their first game of the 2017 season, after winning their first four. Lamar won 35 games last season and finished third in their conference.
Fairfield will look to build on their season opening win when they begin a double header against the Cardinals tomorrow at 2pm.