May 12, 2011
MANSFIELD, CT - The \#1 seeded Eastern Connecticut State University baseball scored in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to erase a 3-2 deficit and defeat the \#2 seeded University of Massachusetts Boston, 8-4, in day two action of the 2011 Little East Conference tournament at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. With the win the Warriors, who are ranked 14th in the latest NCBWA poll, improve to 30-10 on the year and live to see another day in the two-loss elimination tournament while the Beacons reign as 2010 New England Regional Champions comes to a close as they finish the year with an 18-22 mark.
The Warriors would take the lead for good in the seventh inning on an RBI single up the middle by senior pitcher Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), plating senior centerfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls, CT) to break a 4-4 tie and propel the Warriors to the 8-4 victory. With no outs, two runners in scoring position and the infield in, senior right fielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich, CT) followed up Schult with another RBI single to drive in senior left fielder Robert Perry (Manchester, CT), who was on via a walk, for an insurance run and the 6-4 advantage.
Perry would some more insurance for the ECSU with a two-out two-run homer to left-center to give Eastern Connecticut State the 8-4 lead. The hit also extended Perry's current hit-streak to a season-high 24 games.
In the bottom of the third, UMass Boston took advantage of three Schult walks to load the bases and sophomore shortstop Matt Consiglio (Southbury, CT) made the Warriors starter pay, knocking a two-RBI single to left to put the Beacons on top, 3-2. It looked as if UMass Boston would add to its lead in the fourth as they would load the bases with no outs but Schult was able to work his way out of the jam with a strikeout followed by a 1-2-3 double play to escape the inning without any damage and shift the game's momentum.
Eastern Connecticut State would tie the game in the fifth, scoring an unearned run on an RBI single to left by Schult, plating senior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington, CT) to even the score at 3-3.
The Warriors would break a 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth as Balowski drew a one out walk and then advanced to third on a well executed hit and run play by freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) who delivered a single through the right side. Up next, freshman second baseman Mitch Plourde (Ellington, CT) chopped a ball up the middle that Consiglio was able to handle cleanly and get the unassisted force out at second before firing onto first for the double play but Plourde was able to beat the throw allowing Balowski to score the go-ahead run and give Eastern Connecticut State the 4-3 cushion.
UMass Boston would waste no time to knot the game at 4-4 as sophomore catcher Christos Ferriera (Norwood, MA) lined a one-out double down the left field line and came around to score on a single through the right side by sophomore left fielder Nick Grassetti (Agawam, MA) to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth before the late inning explosion sealed the win for ECSU.
Early in the game, the Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Turgeon drove in the first run on an RBI groundout to second before senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) ripped an RBI double down the left field line to plate Schult who had previously reached on a double to right centerfield. The Beacons were able to get out of the inning down just two as sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin, CT) knocked a single to right but senior right fielder Dan Noonan (Westport, MA) came up throwing and gunned down Dewing at the plate.
The Beacons got one right back in the bottom of the opening frame as senior second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) reached with a two out single through the right side and came around to score on an RBI double by senior first baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, NH) to make it a 2-1 game.
Walsh ended the day going 2-3 and finishes his UMass Boston career with 266 hits to rank first all-time in Beacons annals.
Schult would notch the win for the Warriors, improving to 9-1 on the season. The senior went the distance allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out 10.
Freshman pitcher Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, MA) gave the Beacons a strong start on the mound hurling six innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out two in the no-decision. Sophomore Dan Heefner (Tracy, CA) suffered the loss allowing four runs over the final three innings of work and ends the season with a 2-4 record.
Eastern will now play the winner of the \#4 Keene State vs. \#5 Southern Maine match up tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.