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First-year pitcher Evan Chamberlain a bright spot for No. 11 Warriors


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team 
fell behind by nine runs and never fully recovered as Western New England College defeated the Warriors for the third straight season, 11-6, Monday at Trelease Park.

At right: Chris Thomson

Ranked No. 8 in New England, Western New England (15-4) won for the eighth time in the last nine games while Eastern (12-5) has split four games since returning from Arizona. After losing  36 of the first 38 meetings between the programs, the Golden Bears have knocked off the Warriors the last three times the programs have met.

No. 3 hitter Joe Griglun and leadoff batter Ryan Dudzinski each reached base four times and each drove  in four runs for Western New England. Griglun had two doubles, a single and hit-by-pitch and leadoff hitter Dudzinski had a bases-clearing double  in the fourth and also singled, walked and reached on an error.

Senior Chris Thomson (Montville) drove in three runs for Eastern - ranked No. 3 in New England and No. 11 nationally -- with a pinch three-run home run in a six-run sixth inning and junior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) reached safely three times with  two hits and a walk and drove in a run. The home run was the first of the season and the third of Thomson's two-year Eastern career.

First-year sophomore Evan Chamberlain (Hebron) - the third of five Eastern pitchers - pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his debut, giving up only one hit. Chamberlain allowed a single, sacrifice fly and hit a batter after being summoned in the fourth, but didn't' surrender a hit and allowed only one baserunner over the next two innings.

Western New England junior righty Zach Cloft shut out Eastern over the first five innings and was eventually charged with two runs on three hits before being lifted while the Warriors were batting around in the sixth and scoring six runs on Turgeon's RBI double and Thomson's home run, three walks and a hit batsman. He fanned five and walked five.

Eastern hosts Montclair State University Tuesday at 4 p.m.