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Tufts 3    Methodist 1

At Fayetteville, NC
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Game Box Score

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Aiming for its fourth straight victory on Wednesday, the Methodist Monarch baseball team ran into a stalemate in the form of the Tufts Jumbos as visiting Tufts prevailed 3-1 at Shelley Field. The defeat drops the Monarchs to an even 11-11 while Tufts lifts its record to 3-2 on its season-opening spring trip.

The pitching combination of junior tri-captain Ben Simon (Providence, RI) and Erik Johanson (Wynnewood, PA) kept the Monarchs off balance at the plate for most of the game. Simon allowed only four hits with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings before leaving with an injury in the sixth. Johanson, however, pitched no-hit ball for the remainder of the game for the save.

Neither team could generate much offense, as Methodist's five pitchers limited Tufts to only six hits and combined for 10 strikeouts. However, nine walks and hit batter came back to haunt the Monarchs.

Tufts took a 1-0 lead in the first when senior SS Greg Chertok (New City, NY) scored on a sacrifice fly by junior 1B Bryan McDavitt (Holden, MA). The Jumbos increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. McDavitt walked and eventually scored on a fielder's choice by senior C Ben Chang (Chicago, IL). The Monarchs finally got on the board with back-to-back singles by Michael Carter and Kyle Eudy in the fifth.

Methodist had a tremendous chance to either tie or take the lead in the sixth, but Johanson struck out the Monarchs' Scott Russell with runners on first and second. The Jumbos got the run back in the seventh on an RBI single by junior LF Kyle Backstrom (Worcester, MA).

Elloitt Bisplinghoff took the defeat for the Monarchs, despite recording four strikeouts in four innings. Junior CF Chris Decembrele (Walpole, MA) went 2 for 3 for Tufts, while Backstrom went 2 for 4.

The Jumbos continue their trip at North Carolina Wesleyan on Thursday with a 3:00 first pitch. Methodist plays host to Endicott on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Shelley Field.