By: Andrew Korba
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Hiram College baseball team opened the 2015 season by topping Emerson (Mass.) but falling to Rockford (Ill.) on Sunday afternoon at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Terriers are now 1-1 on the season.
In the nightcap against Emerson (0-1), senior J.T. Taylor (Niles/Niles McKinley) tossed six innings, giving up one run and striking out three, as the Terriers picked up a 10-3 win.
Senior Jim Jaksa (Chesterland/West Geauga) went 3-for-4 with four RBI's.
Hiram wasted no time jumping out to an early lead. Senior Jaren Bell (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) scored on a fielding error in the first to make the score 1-0.
The Terriers added two more runs in the second on a RBI groundout from freshman Tyler Carcioppolo (Seven Hills/Normady) and a sac fly from Jaksa.
The Lions would get on the board in the fourth, but Hiram answered right back with a run in the fifth on a fielder's choice from sophomore Brandon Gros (Ravenna/Kent Roosevelt).
Hiram scored three times in the eighth and ninth to blow the game open.
In the eighth, Jaksa stepped up with the bases loaded and hit a double, scoring all three runners.
Carcioppolo doubled home a run and came around to score on a passed ball in the ninth. Senior Mark Leone (Boardman) also drew a bases loaded walk for the final run of the game.
Against Rockford (1-0), Hiram fell 17-7 as the Regents scored seven times in the first inning.
Rockford added two more runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to expand its lead to 10-0.
The Terriers would chip away at the lead and score three times in the sixth on a RBI single from Gros and a 2-RBI single from senior Ron DeAmicis (Austintown/Fitch).
Rockford came right back with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the sixth.
Senior Phil Ward (Garfield Heights) hit a sac fly in the ninth to close out the scoring for Hiram.
Hiram will continue play in Florida on Monday, with a doubleheader against Swarthmore (Pa.). Game 1 is scheduled for 9 a.m. and the second game is set for noon.