MANSFIELD, Conn. – Chris Fowler of the University of Massachusetts Boston drove in eight runs with five hits – including three doubles -- and Eastern Connecticut State University walked 14 batters and allowed nine unearned runs in 13-7, 17-4 losses to the Beacons in the Little East Conference baseball openers Saturday at the Eastern Baseball Stadium. The second game was stopped after eight innings.
Ranked fifth in Division III and first in New England, defending LEC tournament champion UMass Boston (13-5, 2-0 LEC) scored seven runs on seven hits in the seventh inning of the first game to pull away from a 5-4 lead, then scored ten runs in the first three innings of the nightcap – benefitting from ten walks and five Eastern errors -- to complete its first sweep of the Warriors in the 52-game history of the series.
In the first game, Fowler had three hits, drove in three runs and scored two, and in the nightcap, drove in five runs with two hits and scored two. In the opener, he singled and scored in the fourth, drove in a run with a ground ball in the fifth, doubled in two runs and scored in the seventh and singled in the eighth. The team's senior cleanup-hitting first basemen, the lefty-swinging Fowler doubled in the first two runs of the second game in the Beacons' six-run first inning, walked and scored in the second, doubled in two more runs in the third and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Junior lefty JT Morin pitched into the sixth inning of the opener, giving up only two hits and fanning five with five walks to even his record at 1-1. Junior righty Fernando Burgos was lifted after five innings of the second game with an 11-4 lead. Burgos (4-0) struck out six and walked six and allowed four hits.
Freshman rightfielder Anthony Stigler (Mansfield) had four of Eastern's ten hits on the day and drove in six of its 11 runs. In the first game, Stigler drove in two runs with a single in the sixth and two with a double in the eighth, and added another two-run single in the third inning of the nightcap.
Junior centefielder Alexander White (West Hartford) reached five times in two games with four walks and a single and scored three times.
Eastern hosts MIT in a non-conference game Monday at 4 p.m.