MANSFIELD, Conn. – A three-run top of the ninth ended a late inning Beacons rally as the 16th ranked and top-seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University ended baseball's season with a 10-5 decision on day two of the Little East Conference Tournament at the ECSU Baseball Stadium.
With Thursday's loss, the Beacons end the 2014 season, with a 17-23 record overall. For the Warriors they advance in the winner's bracket, and will play the winner of the University of Southern Maine/UMass Dartmouth on Friday at 11 a.m.
The Beacons, who trailed for most of the afternoon, began to chip away at the Warriors lead in the bottom of the eighth. Senior Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.) led off the inning with his 41st walk of the 2014 campaign. A single by Jose Pena (Boston, Mass.) moved his classmate over to third to put runners on the corners. Charlie LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) would make it a four-run (7-3) game on an RBI single which plated Moquete, and moved Pena to second.
After going to the bullpen, the Warriors were able to pick-up their first out of the inning. Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) cut into ECSU's lead with an RBI double to make it 7-5. Following another pitching change, the Beacons would take advantage of a passed ball, which scored LaPaglia, and moved Szatrowski over to third. Unfortunately, the Beacons rally fell short as the Warriors were able to retire the next two batters to get out of the inning.
With the momentum shifting to the Beacons, UMass Boston knew they had to keep the Warriors off the board in the top of the ninth. However, Eastern would collect three runs in the half inning to push their lead back to five. The Beacons would record two hits in the inning, but would never reach home plate as the Warriors improved their win-streak to eight straight games.
Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.), who made his final start as a Beacon, was handed the loss after surrendering seven runs, five earned, on 10 hits in five innings. Fellow seniors Tom Cole (Mattapoisett, Mass.) and Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.) closed out the contest in their final appearances with UMass Boston.
The Warriors' saw Brent Pelella earn his sixth win of the year (6-1) after going seven complete innings. He would surrender five Beacons runs, three earned, on eight hits, two of which were doubles by Moquete and Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.).
Szatrowski's double in the eighth represented the Beacons third and final extra base hit, as the junior also drove in one of the UMass Boston's five runs. Moquete finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, and was also walked once.
The Beacons combined for 10 hits, while the Warriors finished Thursday's contest with 15. The Beacons scored their first two runs of the afternoon in the bottom of the first on the RBI double by Moquete. The senior outfielder would come around to score following an error by the Warriors, which at the time tied the game at 2-2. ECSU would then two more runs in the third and three in the sixth, before the Beacons got back on the board in the eighth.