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BASEBALL: MUSSON STOPS TRINITY

Senior righty avenges only collegiate loss with masterful three-hitter

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   MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) avenged his only collegiate WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgpitching loss by striking out a career-tying 13 batters to spark the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to an 8-1 win over Trinity College Tuesday night at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Will Musson

The game was the first between the programs since Trinity  (20-8) won the 2009 New England championship with a 5-4 win over Eastern (14-7) at the Eastern Baseball Stadium. In that game, Musson pitched seven strong innings three days after a route-going performance  against Suffolk University, but was saddled with his first loss after nine straight wins.

With ten days rest this time, the 6-foot-1 inch, 225-pounder overmatched the Bantams by equaling his career high with 13 strikeouts. He gave only one run on three hits, three walks, and one hit batsman. The 2008 national champion, Trinity hurt its own cause by commiting three errors, with five pitchers allowing nine hits, walking nine, hitting four batters and balking once.

The two nationally-ranked teams had both lost two straight entering the game, the Bantams being swept by Tufts University and Eastern dropping the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader to Plymouth State and an 11-9 decision Monday against visiting Suffolk University.

Eastern threatened in every inning, putting runners on base in all eight at-bats.  The Warriors batted around in their first at-bat, scoring  three times on singles junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and earning four walks. Trinity freshman righty D.J. Goldberg faced only eight batters, getting the hook after walking in the third run of the game.

Another single by Schult and three more walks made it 4-0 in the second and Eastern boosted thelead to 7-0 in the fourth when Dewing smacked a two-run opposite-field home run  to right and No. 9 hitter Chris Cannata (Southington) poked an RBI single to center.

Musson (3-0)departed on the long end of an 8-1 lead, which was protected by junior lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor). Roveto recorded the final six outs, giving up only one hit and fanning the final two batters. In a four-year pitching career, Musson is 15-1. He was 3-0 in two seasons at the University of Connecticut and 12-1 at Eastern.

Schult had three hits and Dewing three RBI to improve his team lead in that category to 43. Senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) walked three times and senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) reached four times with two hits and two walks and scored twice.
Guilty of five errors in the loss to Suffolk, the Warriors played perfect defense behind Musson and Roveto.

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.