Baseball Opens Little East Play With Split at Eastern Connecticut State

MANSFIELD, Conn. – With another strong showing by senior pitcher Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.) baseball (6-5, 1-1 Little East) earned their first Little East Conference split of the season as they defeated Eastern Connecticut State University by the final of 3-2 in game two of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Connecticut State University Baseball Stadium.

Following a 3-0 loss in game one, Ilges stepped on the hill and held the Warriors (7-4, 1-1 Little East) hitless through 6.1 innings to earn his team-leading second win of the year.  Driving in the deciding run in the top half of a rain soaked game two was Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) on an infield hit to the shortstop.

His huge single plated Kyle Thebado (Marlborough, Mass.) who entered the game as a pinch runner for Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.).  Ezold led off the inning with a huge double to left center to immediately put the go-ahead run in scoring position.  Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) would move his teammate over to third on a groundout to the right side of the field.

On the first pitch of Szatrowski's at-bat the junior would score a hard charging Thebado to put the Beacons back in front.  The Warriors did collect the final two outs of the inning to keep the deficit at one.

However in the bottom half of the ninth Matt Dziok (Southampton, Mass.) came in and completely shutdown any chance of a Warriors rally.  The senior would collect back-to-back outs to start off the ninth.  Eastern did get a runner on first, but the effort was too little too late as the very next batter flew out to center field giving the Beacons the win.

For Dziok the save marked the second of the year for the righty, and the fifth of his college career. 

GAME ONE – UMass Boston 0, Eastern Connecticut State University 3

In the opener some key errors proved costly for the Beacons despite another solid outing from Szatrowski.  Eastern Connecticut would get their first run of the day in the bottom of the second on a pair of errors by the Beacons defense.  However Szatrowski managed to battle out of the inning to keep the Warriors at the lone run.

The third inning saw the Warriors score their second run of the afternoon on a single to left field.  With runners on the corners the Beacons did manage two huge defensive plays to get out of the inning the first coming on a pick-off and the other on a line out to the second baseman.

UMass Boston's first hit of the day did not come until the top half of the fifth when Alex Webb (Gloucester, Mass.) singled down the left field line to break-up Greg Porter's no-hitter.  The Beacons would manage just two more hits in the contest, while the Warriors added their third and final run in the bottom of the eighth to earn the victory. 

Szatrowski went six complete innings in the loss and allowed the two runs, one earned, on five hits, but did manage to strikeout six and walk just two Warriors.  Josh Cummiskey (Lowell, Mass.) closed out the final two innings allowing the one run on three hits, while also picking-up a pair of strikeouts.

GAME TWO – UMass Boston 3, Eastern Connecticut State University 2

In a rain soaked game two the two teams battled the conditions for most of the afternoon.  Despite the cold rain coming down consistently, Ilges remained red-hot holding the Warriors hitless through 6.1.  The Beacons offense also came alive and gave their starter an early 1-0 lead to fall back on.

Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) started off the game with a single to the outfield and quickly moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt.  He then sprinted over to third on a groundout to put the Beacons first run of the day just 90 feet away with two outs on the scoreboard.

LaPaglia drove in the early go-ahead run on a single up the middle.  After the first neither team would put a dent on the scoreboard until the top half of the sixth when the Beacons struck for the second time, this time on a sac-fly by Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.).

With the conditions and weather continuing to deteriorate, by the minute the Warriors were finally able to break through scoring a pair in the bottom of the seventh to tie it at 2-2.  After a scoreless eighth the Beacons got the answer they were looking for in the ninth on the Szatrowski game-winning RBI single.

Along with Dziok's near perfect showing in the bottom half of the ninth the Beacons ended an eight-game skid against the Warriors to take a huge split.

Ilges allowed the two Warrior runs on a mere three hits in eight complete innings of work.  The Gloucester native struck out four and walked four.  Dziok allowed just one hit and struck out one.

LaPaglia led the Beacons bats finishing 2-for-4 and an RBI.  Anthony Gomes-Sirianni (San Francisco, Calif.) went 1-for-2 with a run scored, and also had one walk and a stolen base.

Baseball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to Eastern Nazarene College for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference game.