DANBURY, Conn. – The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team erased an early 4-0 deficit by scoring four times in the sixth to take the lead for good on the way to a 7-5 Little East Conference win over homestanding Western Connectcut State University Tuesday afternoon at Westside Field.
With its third straight win and fifth in the last six games, Eastern 17-11, 7-3 LEC) maintains a share of second place in the Little East with the University of Southern Maine, which handed conference leader UMass Boston its first loss of the season Tuesday. The Warriors and Huskies are a game up on Rhode Island College. Four LEC games remain in the regular season.
Playing its home-opener, Western (9-18, 0-10 LEC) scored its only runs of the game on Kyle MacLean's third-inning grand slam – his first homer of the year – after a double and two walks had loaded the bases off freshman right-handed starter Nicholas Kraszewski (East Haven).
Eastern broke through for a run against junior righty Matt Fasoli in the fifth, then chased the Western starter after senior second baseman Mike Funaro (Northford) walked and junior All-Region third baseman Alex Parkos (MErien) doubled to open the sixth. Senior cleanup hitter
D.J. Scavone (Auburn, MA), senior catcher Merlyn Herrera (La Yaquiza, DR) and freshman rightfielder Anthony Stigler (Mansfield) all drove in runs in the four-run inning, and Funaro had a two-run single in the eighth to seal the win in handing Western its eighth straight loss.
Sophomore righty Sam Gagnon (Andover) pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings in middle relief for his first career win, allowing six hits, fanning four and walking two. Gagnon replaced Kraszewski following MacLean's grand slam and did not allow more than one baserunner in an inning until the seventh, when a leadoff single and walk put two runners aboard. Gagnon got an outfield fly and called strikeout to end the inning, departing after surrendering two singles to open the eighth.
Senior righty Sam Kosterich (Stamford) gained his 11th career save by allowing a run over the final two innings. He gave up three hits and fanned three without a walk
Eastern hosts MIT Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference makeup game.