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Tufts 9, North Carolina Wesleyan 7

At Rocky Mount, NC
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Game Box Score

Rocky Mount, NC -- The Tufts University baseball team scored a 9-7 win over homestanding North Carolina Wesleyan at Bauer Field on Thursday afternoon. The Jumbos (3-4) got a solid pitching performance from senior righty hurler Jason Protano (Milford, MA) en route to their third win of the season. With the loss, the Battling Bishops now stand at 16-7-1 overall.

Tufts jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first as the Jumbos benefited from two Bishop fielding errors. Sophomore DH Corey Pontes (Milton, MA) delivered the only hit of the inning, a two-run single to center with the bases loaded. The Jumbos tacked on two more runs in the second with a sac fly by junior SS Kevin Casey (Milford, MA) and a double from senior 1B Steve Ragonese (Upper Saddle River, NJ). The Bishops got on the board in the bottom of the inning.

An unearned run in the third extended Tufts� lead to 6-1. Wesleyan, however, answered with a three-spot in their half of the frame to cut the lead to 6-4. Justin Batts and Justin Tuck each recorded RBI-singles with Tuck�s plating two. Tufts freshman Ian Goldberg (Lake Forest, IL), who is having a good trip, led off the Jumbo fourth with a home run to center, but NCWC's Chris Pecora countered with a solo blast of his own in the fifth to make the score 7-5.

Tufts kept the Bishops at bay, with junior 3B Ari David (Lincoln, MA) walking and scoring in the seventh and also scoring after a single to lead off the ninth. NCWC�s final run came on Pecora�s second homer of the game. The talented switch-hitter belted one dinger from each side of the plate on the day and finished 3 for 5.

Protano picked up the win after going 7.2 innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits. NCWC starter Max Knowles took the loss for the Bishops. Goldberg went 2 for 5 with three runs scored, Casey had three RBIs and David scored three runs overall for Tufts.

The Jumbos continue their busy spring break week with a game at Randolph-Macon College on Friday afternoon. Wesleyan returns to action at home on Friday and Saturday when USA South rival Ferrum College visits Bauer Field.