AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Twenty-four hours after walking off with its first loss of the season, the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team walked off with its 15th consecutive win over Framingham State University, 4-3 in ten innings Thursday afternoon at Lake Myrtle Park.
After Framingham (5-5) tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning after there were two out and none on, Eastern (4-1) senior rightfielder Pat Sirois (Cromwell) delivered a two-out single to left in the bottom of the tenth inning that drove in sophomore pinch hitter William Coleman (Northford) from second with the winning run. Coleman had walked to open the inning and was moved into scoring position when freshman pinch hitter John Mesagno (Tappan, NY) was hit by a pitch.
Junior righty Sam Kosterich (Stamford) was credited with his first career victory in his fifth appearance of the year. Kosterich gave up consecutive singles after being inserted into a tie game in the top of the tenth inning, but got out of the jam when freshman backup catcher Jake LeFevre (Mansfield Center) threw out Framingham catcher Jordan Pallazola trying to steal third for the first out, and Kosterich ended the frame by inducing two straight swinging strikeouts.
Trailing 2-1, Eastern never trailed after scoring twice in the bottom of the third when No. 9 hitter Merlyn Herrera (La Yaquiza, DR), sophomore shortstop Cory Baldwin (Cromwell) and sophomore second baseman Ryan Hood (Arlington, MA) all reached with hits. Baldwin, a first-semester transfer from Endicott College, drove in his first run at Eastern with a triple to center, and Hood chased him in with a single to center.
In his second career start, junior righty Ben Ruddock (Deerfield, MA) stymied the Rams on one hit and one earned run with eight strikeouts over the first five innings, leading on the long end of a 3-2 score. Neither sophomore righty Cole Orgorzalek (Portland) or sophomore lefty Nick Rascati (Wallingford) allowed an earned run in their respective two-inning stints, but Framingham pushed across the tying run against Ruscati in the top of the eighth. Rascati retired the first two batters of the inning, but two walks a single and passed ball allowed the Rams to pull even.
Sirois was the only Eastern batter with more than one hit. He had had two hits and two RBI and Baldwin reached three times with two walks and his third-inning triple
Eastern's four pitchers combined on a five-hitter with 17 strikeouts against six walks, while two Framingham hurlers recorded 13 strikeouts and walked five.
Eastern faces UW-Platteville Friday at 10 a.m. at Pat Thomas Stadium in Leesburg, FL.