Baseball's Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short

Carlos Gomez went three-for-five with a three-run homer in the ninth. Photo by Joel Auerbach.
MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—The Barry Buccaneers mounted a rally in the ninth, but it was not enough as the Rollins Tars escaped Feinbloom Field with a 12-11 win in the opening game of a Sunshine State Conference baseball series Friday night.
 
The Tars (11-2-1, 1-0 SSC) built an 11-3 lead off Barry starter Ray Rhoads (3-1) who surrendered nine runs on 13 hits and a walk in five innings, while striking out three.
 
Stefano Foggi had three hits, including two doubles, scored three runs and drove in two., while Mike Crane went four-for-four for the Tars.
 
The Bucs (9-7, 0-1 SSC) started a comeback in the seventh inning with three runs helped by three Rollins’ errors and a wild pitch.
 
In the ninth, Rollins plated what turned out to be the game-winner when Gene Howard singled home Foggi to make the score 12-6.
 
But in the bottom of the inning, Tars’ reliever Chad Gianuzzi walked the bases loaded with no outs. Chris Leon hit a ground ball to Ryan Luker at short who bobbled the ball allowing Leon to reach and Andrew Frezza to score and then threw the ball away at first, allowing John Servidio to round from second to trim the lead to 12-8. Carlos Gomez then promptly drilled an offering from Robbie Pagano, who came in for Gianuzzi, over the centerfield screen to make it 12-11 all with no outs. But Evan Ashley popped up and Mitch Rodriguez flew out to center. Nick Shaw singled to left to keep the rally going, but Pagano got Brett Rossi looking to end the inning.
 
Mario Lombardo (4-0) picked up the win for the Tars. He worked seven innings, allowing six runs (two earned) on 10 hits and a walk and struck out five.
 
Servidio, who went three-for-four, doubled twice and scored three runs for the Bucs. Gomez added a pair of singles to go along with the three-run homer in the ninth.
 
The teams conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 1 at noon.
 
(02/29/2008 at Miami Shores, Fla.)
Rollins 12, Barry 11
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rollins............. 001 406 001  - 12 19  7      (11-2-1, 1-0 SSC)
Barry................  000 111 305  - 11 12  1      (9-7, 0-1 SSC)
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Pitchers: Rollins - Mario Lombardo; Chad Giannuzzi(8); Robbie Pagano(9). Barry - Ray Rhoads;
Bobby Riley(6).
Win-Mario Lombardo(4-0)  Loss-Ray Rhoads(3-1)  T-3:13  A-181
HR BUB - Carlos Gomez (2).
Weather: nippy
Rhoads faced 4 batters in the 6th.
Giannuzzi faced 3 batters in the 9th.

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