BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The visiting Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team rallied for an 8-5 win over Bridgewater State University on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Park.
The Warriors improve to 10-4 on the season while the host Bears fall to 6-7.
Trailing 5-2 in the latter stages of the game, freshman John Mesagno (Tappan, N.Y.) and senior Alex Zachary (Enfield, Conn.) registered back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles to tie the score in the top of the seventh inning, and sophomore Devin Belenski (Oxford, Conn.) drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single in the eighth.
Eastern got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Zachary extended his hitting streak to 34 games with an RBI single, while senior Pat Sirois (Cromwell, Conn.) plated the second run with a sacrifice fly.
Bridgewater answered with three runs in the bottom of the first to move out in front. A sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Tyler Morini (Plymouth, Mass.) and a two-run single by junior Matt Cassese (Taunton, Mass.) accounted for the scoring in the inning.
An RBI single by junior Ryan Kelleher (Danvers, Mass.) followed by an RBI double by senior Ryan Feeney (East Bridgewater, Mass.) extended the BSU advantage to 5-2 in the second inning. Feeney's double extended his season-long hitting streak to 13 games.
The Bears, however, were held scoreless over the final seven innings.
Trailing 5-2, Eastern got one back in the top of the third and tied the game by scoring twice in the seventh on the back-to-back RBI doubles by Mesagno and Zachary after there were two out and none on.
With one out in the eighth, sophomore Alexander White (West Hartford) was walked, advanced to second on junior D.J. Scavone's (Auburn, MA) single and then stole third. Pinch-hitting, Belenski plated White with an infield single to give Eastern the lead. Two batters later, Baldwin rapped a two-run double to make it 8-5.
Mesagno reached base five times with four hits and a walk. Zachary had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in two runs. Baldwin reached four times with a hit, two walks and a hit-by-pitch, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Cassese went 2-for-3 with walk and two RBI to highlight the BSU offense.
Junior righty Sam Kosterich (Stamford, Conn.) gained his third win in four decisions this year, while sophomore lefty Nick Rascati (Wallingford, Conn.) nailed down his second save with the final two hitless innings. Kosterich pitched a scoreless seventh and benefited when the Warriors pushed across the go-ahead runs in the eighth. Eastern pitching allowed only one hit over the final five innings.
Bridgewater used eight pitchers in the game with junior Connor Birch (Bellingham, Mass.) tossing the first two innings. Birch allowed two runs on two hits and three walks, but did not factor in the decision. Senior Thomas Protentis (Lakeville, Mass.), junior David Manning (North Attleboro, Mass.), freshman Jacob Robbins (Middleboro, Mass.) and sophomore Shawn Smeglin (Wakefield, Mass.) each worked a scoreless inning in relief. Sophomore Kevin Bresciani (Hopedale, Mass.) was saddled with the loss.
In upcoming action, the Bears travel to Johnson & Wales University on Thursday for a 3:30 non-conference game with the Wildcats. The Warriors host a Little East Conference doubleheader with the University of Southern Maine on Saturday starting at noon.