Eastern Connecticut Sweeps Baseball in Little East Doubleheader
BROCKTON, Mass. – In perhaps their biggest test of the Little East Conference season, the Beacons bats were silenced for almost the entire day as the Eastern Connecticut State University bullpen was absolutely dominant recording a combined 23 strikeouts to lead the Warriors to their first conference sweep of the year as they defeated baseball by the finals of 2-0 and 4-0 Saturday afternoon at Campanelli Stadium in a conference doubleheader.
The Beacons, who had a very tough week, saw their overall record drop to 10-13, while their conference mark fell to 4-2. Despite the losses the Beacons still sit in sole possession of second place in the conference standings, with the Huskies of Southern Maine the only remaining undefeated team in conference play. The Warriors improved to 16-8-1 on the season, and 3-3 in the Little East to move into a three-way tie for third.
Fueling the Warriors bullpen were starters Evan Chamberlain and Tom Darby. Both pitchers recorded their fifth wins of the year with a pair 10 strikeout performances. Each of the three relievers that made an appearance in Saturday's contests walked away with a strikeout as well. On the day, the five pitchers allowed just six Beacons hits and one walk. All six hits allowed were singles.
In the opener, Chamberlain faced off against the Beacons ace Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.). The two would battle back and forth all afternoon, with Szatrowski going all nine innings, allowing just the two runs, one earned, on six Warrior hits. The lefty fanned four batters and walked just two before getting handed his first loss of the year.
Eastern Connecticut's first run of the day came in the top of the third when they took advantage of a Beacons error. Mike Vaccarelli, who went 3-for-4 in the opener, drove in the go-ahead run on a RBI double to left field. ECSU would put their second run on the board in the fifth when Joe Balowski plated Nik Ververis on a sacrifice fly to right.
After that run neither team would really threaten until the ninth when the Beacons led off the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners at first a second. The Warriors would get the lead runner out at third on a fielder's choice bunt to put one out on the scoreboard. From there ECSU would get the next Beacons batter to fly out before picking up the final out via strikeout. The Beacons would total five hits in the contest, with only of their three errors coming back to the hurt them in the end. Jamill Moquette (Boston, Mass.) was the only Beacon to record multiple hits as the junior outfielder went 2-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases.
The nightcap would see Darby dominate the UMB line-up as he held the Beacons to just one hit through nine innings. The lone hit would belong to Bryan Failla (Torrington, Conn.), which he recorded in the bottom of the third. Patrick Austin (Torrington, Conn.) was handed the loss, his first of the year, after going 5.2 in which he surrendered four runs, three earned, on seven hits. The lefty struckout three and walked just one batter.
It was in the top of third inning that ECSU did a majority of their damage as they scored three of their four runs on three hits to give Darby all the room he needed to carry the Warriors to the victory. They would tack on their fourth run of the game in the top of the fourth on a RBI double by Ververis. From there the Beacons bullpen managed to keep the Warriors bats silent for the most part, but it was Darby who could not be touched as he cruised through the next four innings, before letting Matt Purnell close out the victory.
Baseball returns to action on Tuesday when they host Southern Maine at 6:15 p.m. at Campanelli Stadium in a Little East Conference single game.