April 6, 2014

Baseball Earns Second Straight Conference Split

MANSFIELD, Conn. – For the second straight weekend baseball (9-7, 2-2 Little East) earned another huge Little East Conference split as they earned a 10-6 game one win, before falling in game two by the final of 10-7 to Western Connecticut State University (9-6, 1-1 Little East) Sunday afternoon at the Eastern Connecticut State University Baseball Stadium.  The contest was moved to Mansfield after WCSU's field was ruled unplayable for the conference doubleheader.

The Beacons came out in a big way in game one of Sunday's doubleheader as they hammered the Colonials pitching staff for a combined 13 hits.  Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.) and Nick Brothers (Danville, Calif.) led the Beacons offense as the duo went 4-for-8 with seven RBI and three runs scored. 

Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) earned his first conference victory of the 2014 season, going 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking just one.  Josh Cummiskey (Lowell, Mass.) earned his first career save with UMass Boston as the righty went the final 3 1/3, allowing just two hits.

In the nightcap the Beacons combined for 10 hits, and cut the Colonials seven-run lead to three in the top of the ninth.  Unfortunately they were unable to pull off the late inning rally as they earned the split to keep them in the top-4 in the conference standings.

Szatrowski, Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.), and Bryan Failla (Torrington, Conn.) each ripped doubles and ended the game with two hits each.  Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.) was handed the loss after allowing the 10 runs, six earned, on 10 hits.  The senior righty struck out two, before Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.), and Will Barrack (Lancaster, Va.) each took turns on the hill.  The two seniors allowed just two hits and fanned four batters over the final three innings respectively.

GAME ONE – UMass Boston 10, Western Connecticut State University 7

In the opener the Beacons overcame an early two-run deficit with a huge six-run top of the third to take a 6-2 lead.  Ezold drove in the Beacons first run of the day on a bases loaded walk with one out on the scoreboard.  LaPaglia then tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI single to left field.  Brothers would then push the lead to two as he ripped a two-run single to deep center field.

After reloading the bases for the second time, the Beacons took advantage on a Colonials' infield error scoring twice on the play to make it a four-run game.

In the next inning, Brothers crushed another single, this time to right field to make it 7-2 in favor of UMass.  The Colonials did cut into the Beacons growing lead in the bottom of the fifth and sixth inning scoring a total of three runs to make it 7-4.  However, with Ezold and Brothers red hot at the plate UMass Boston's lead was never in jeopardy as the two drive in three runs in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.

GAME TWO – UMass Boston 7, Western Connecticut State University 10

Game two would once again see the Colonials take an early lead just like in the opener.  This time WCSU jumped out to a three-run lead after one.  However the Beacons answered right back with three runs of-their-own in the very next inning to tie the game at 3-3.

Unfortunately, the lead quickly shifted back to the Colonials as they tacked on another three runs in the bottom of the second.  They would then score two runs in the third, and two more in the fourth to make it a seven-run ball game. 

After three quiet innings, the Beacons bats came alive in the sixth, as Failla started the Beacons rally with an RBI double to right field.  Ezold cut WCSU's lead in half in the same inning on an RBI single of his own which plated Failla.

While the Beacons bats were doing their job, Heefner and Barrack were doing their part completely shutting down the Colonials.  In the seventh, Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) singled up the middle to make it a four-run ball game on his lone RBI of the afternoon.  After a scoreless eighth, the Beacons rally in the ninth got off to a great start as Szatrowski crushed an RBI double to make it 10-7, Western. 

Unfortunately, the Colonials were able to squeeze out the win with a pair of strikeouts.

Baseball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Salem State University for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.