MYRTLE BEACH, S.C – Five runs in the fifth inning propelled the Johnson & Wales University baseball team to victory in its season opener. The Wildcats defeated the College of St. Elizabeth, 9-5, on Tuesday at the Ripken Experience Complex.
St. Elizabeth: 1-4
Johnson & Wales: 1-0
Johnson & Wales capitalized on the long ball with a trio of home runs. JWU hadn't hit three home runs in a game since it belted a trio versus Curry on April 3, 2012.
Vin Amalfitano's first collegiate home run, a two-run shot to right field, opened a 3-0 lead for the Wildcats in the fourth.
The big blow was Armani Henderson's grand slam in the fifth that extended the JWU margin to 8-1.
St. Elizabeth crept back into the game with four runs off reliever Justin Perez.
Colby Greenhalgh added an insurance run with a solo home run.
In a controlled start, junior Steve Rocchio got the victory by not giving up a hit with two strikeouts in two innings of work.
Johnson & Wales plays twice on Wednesday with games against Christopher Newport (11 AM) and Moravian (2:30 PM).