LAKELAND, FLA. – William Paterson (3-3) built an early 4-0 lead, but Fredonia (6-1) crossed the plate seven times during the top of the eighth inning for a 7-6 baseball victory March 10 during the Pioneers' opener at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
Freshman center fielder Steven DiGirolamo's leadoff double, a walk, hit by pitch and wild pitch handed WP a 1-0 first-inning lead.
Sophomore designated hitter Vin Dorio doubled down the left-field line and later scored via a Jorge Solodkin groundout for a 2-0 edge during the bottom of the second.
A one-out infield single by freshman first baseman Carson Weis, a stolen base and throwing error, and a sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Greg Cuevas added a run in the third.
The Pioneers made it 4-0 in the fourth with a DiGirolamo fielder's choice, stolen base, wild pitch and an error.
The Blue Devils took the lead with seven runs on six hits, an error, hit by pitch, wild pitch and two walks in the top of the eighth.
WP rallied during the bottom of the ninth, using a Cuevas single, error and hit by pitch to load the bases. DiGirolamo plated a run with a base hit and an error sent home Dorio, leaving the bases loaded with two outs. However, a flyout ended the game with the tying run 90 feet away.
DiGirolamo was 4-for-6 with three doubles, an RBI, one stolen base and two runs scored. Solodkin and Ferrara both finished 2-for-4.
Sophomore starter Zach Polzer tossed 5.0 shutout innings, scattering three hits and a walk while striking out five. Junior Jack Benson allowed three runs on four hits over 2.0 innings with a walk and two punchouts, while senior Bryan Kopko (0-1) was charged with four runs (two earned), three hits and a base on balls in 0.2 inning. Sophomore Kyle Weiner pitched the final 1.1 innings and gave up two hits and a walk while posting one strikeout.
Senior designated hitter Patrick Sheehan went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored for Fredonia. Freshman reliever Sam Cestra earned the win (1-0) with 2.0 scoreless innings, surrendering a pair of hits.
The Pioneers will play a doubleheader against Franklin and Marshall Sunday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m.