BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The visiting MCLA baseball team swept a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader against Bridgewater State University on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Park. MCLA won the first game, 4-1, and completed the sweep with a 1-0 victory in eight innings in the nightcap.
The Trailblazers improve to 11-12 on the season and 5-5 in the MASCAC, while the host Bears fall to 8-18 overall and 1-9 in conference play.
In game one, junior right hander Liam Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.) went the distance on the mound for MCLA as he limited the Bears to one run on seven hits. Nolan (1-4) walked three and fanned seven.
Both teams scored in the first inning. In the top of the frame, sophomore Jonathan Parker (Menands, N.Y.) singled with one out, moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a failed pickoff attempt. One out later, junior Brett LaBonte (Wareham, Mass.) rapped a base hit to left-center to score Parker and give the Trailblazers the early lead.
The Bears answered in the bottom of the first. Senior Ryan Feeney (East Bridgewater, Mass.) doubled to left-center, raced to third on passed ball and trotted home on junior Matt Levasseur's (Milton, Mass.) RBI single through the right side.
MCLA plated single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. In the fourth, senior Myles Candelet (Pittsfield, Mass.) singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a dropped fly ball. An RBI single by junior Nick DiSanti (Williamstown, Mass.) in the sixth made it a 3-1 game, and the Trailblazers tacked on another insurance run in the seventh on LaBonte's RBI ground out.
Junior right-hander Connor Birch (Bellingham, Mass,) worked into the seventh inning in the setback on the hill for the Bears. Birch (2-3) gave up four runs (two earned) on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout.
DiSanti went 2-for-3 with an RBI to highlight the MCLA offense, while Parker (1-for-3) reached safely twice in four plate appearances and scored two runs. LaBonte went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs.
Levasseur finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI to lead the Bears, while Feeney went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
In game two, LaBonte drove in the game's only run with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to lift the Trailblazers to the 1-0 extra inning win and a sweep of the twinbill.
With the game scoreless in the eighth, Parker walked with one out and advanced to second one out later on a wild pitch. LaBonte then plated Parker with a base hit to left field.
Sophomore lefthander Bobby New (Pittsfield, Mass.) and freshman righthander Austin Miller (Florida, Mass.) combined on the shutout for the visitors in game two. New scattered four hits over six-plus innings and fanned four. Miller (3-1) came on after New gave up a leadoff single to open the bottom of the seventh inning and retired all six batters he faced to record his third win of the season.
BSU senior righthander Thomas Protentis (Lakeville, Mass.) pitched well for the Bears in the complete game effort. Protentis (0-5) gave up just the one run on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
LaBonte went 2-for-4 with the game-winning RBI, while Parker walked twice, scored the game's only run and recorded a sacrifice bunt in four plate appearances. Feeney finished with two hits in three at bats to lead the Bears.
The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Tuesday afternoon at two. The Bears travel to Mass. Maritime Academy to battle the Buccaneers, while Trailblazers head to Westfield State University to take on the Owls.