MANSFIELD, Conn. – In their Little East Conference opener baseball faced a tough challenge as they took on eighth ranked Eastern Connecticut State University Sunday afternoon at the ECSU Baseball Stadium. The Warriors, who were also picked to win the LEC this season, defeated the Beacons in a doubleheader by the finals of 8-0 in game one and 15-2 in seven innings in game two.
Pushing the Warriors (13-3, 2-0 Little East) to the conference sweep was solid pitching in both games as the bullpen allowed just six hits while also striking out 22 respectively.
Four of UMass Boston's (8-8, 0-2 Little East) hits came in game one, with junior first baseman Matt Consiglio (Southbury, Conn.) recording three of those. Collin Keefer (Charlotte, N.C.) recorded a hit in both games, and Mike Mattei (Spencer, Mass.) notched the final hit for UMass in game two.
Eastern Connecticut combined for 29 hits in the twinbill with 14 of those marked down as extra base hits. Leading the Warriors at the plate in both games was Joe Balowski who went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in game one and 3-for-3 three RBI and a run scored in the nightcap.
Starters Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.) and Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.) were both handed their first conference losses of the season. Heefner went 4 1/3 and combined for four strikeouts. Ilges lasted just 1 2/3 in game two. Closer Jeff Thomas (Redwood City, Calif.) had another strong showing on the mound as he went the final two innings of the night cap and did not allow a hit and fanned two.
Baseball will look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Westfield State University for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.