BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The visiting Worcester State University baseball team swept Bridgewater State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Park.
The Lancers won the first game 11-8, and completed the sweep with an 8-1 victory in the nightcap.
Worcester State improves to 6-16 on the season and 3-1 in the MASCAC, while Bridgewater State falls to 4-12 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
In the opener, Worcester broke a 7-7 tie with a four-run seventh inning en route to the 11-8 victory.
Jake Breton (Wilbraham, Mass.), Kevin Larkin (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and Ben Palatino (Hudson, Mass.) led the Lancers' 14-hit attack in game one. Breton went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI, while Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and four RBI. Palatino finished 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, two runs and an RBI.
Kyle Sullivan (Hudson, Mass.) got the start for Worcester but did not factor in the decision. Sullivan allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and five walks with one strikeout. Issiac Christiansen (Franklin, Maine) picked up the win in relief. Christiansen (1-2) retired the only batter he faced on a strikeout with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth with the game tied at 7-7.
Reed Pike (Bellingham, Mass.) went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, walk, three runs scored and an RBI to highlight the Bears' 11-hit effort. Drew Gentile (Lynn, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Randy Frazier (Wareham, Mass.) and Lewis Robinson (New Britain, Conn.) also finished with multiple hits. Frazier singled twice in four at bats and scored a run. Robinson went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI.
Connor Birch (Bellingham, Mass.) allowed ten runs (eight earned) on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings in the setback for Bridgewater. Birch (1-2) walked five and fanned five.
The Lancers jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first on Larkin's two-run double. The Bears answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning on Pike's RBI double and a two-run single by Gentile.
Worcester tied it on a bases loaded walk in the third, but Bridgewater responded once again with three runs in the home half of the inning. A pair of RBI singles by Gentile and Robinson and a WSU throwing error accounted for the scoring.
The Lancers tied it up at 6-6 with three runs in the fourth highlighted by a two-run single by Larkin. A Robinson sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth reclaimed the lead for the Bears, but the Lancers answered in the top of the sixth on a Breton RBI single to knot the score at 7-7.
In the top of the seventh, Worcester strung together four hits and took advantage of two BSU errors to push across four runs. Patrick Grow (Worcester, Mass.), Palatino and Breton each had RBI singles in the frame.
Tyler Morini (Plymouth, Mass.) singled home a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to pull the Bears to within 11-8, but Bradleigh Saltsman (Ayer, Mass.) ended any hopes of a BSU comeback with a game-ending strikeout.
Matt Irzyk (Westfield, Mass.) went the distance for the Lancers in the complete game victory. Irzyk (2-0) allowed a run on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Cooper Bigelow (Leominster, Mass.) paced Worcester's 12-hit attack as he went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Bigelow broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Palatino also produced multiple hits for the visitors in game two as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBI.
The Lancers broke open a 3-1 game with a five-run fifth inning. Bigelow singled home a run in the inning and also scored on Palatino's two-run double. Larkin added an RBI double in the frame, while Sam Allen (Springfield, Mass.) knocked in a run with a bunt single.
Pike went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI to highlight the BSU offense. He staked the Bears to an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first.
Jacob Robbins (Middleboro, Mass.) took the loss on the mound for the Bears. Robbins (1-2) gave up eight runs (seven earned) on ten hits in 4 1/3 innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Greg Cavaioli (Leominster, Mass.) worked 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.
Both teams are on the road next Wednesday afternoon with 3:30 non-conference games. The Bears take on Curry College, while the Lancers battle Albertus Magnus College.