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Baseball: Warriors Topple Western, 14-4

After slow start, Dimon settles down and is backed by 15-hit attack

soler72dpi_0359.jpgDANBURY, Conn. -- The first four batters all scored runs for the Western Connecticut State University baseball team, which  didn't' score again in Eastern Connecticut State University's 14-4 Little East Conference victory Tuesday afternoon at Westside Field.

At left: Armando Soler (Amanda Palmieri photo)

Eastern's (21-6, 6-2 Little East) win, coupled with road losses by Keene State College and the University of Southern Maine, pull the Warriors even with Keene atop the Little East standings and drops Southern Maine a game back in the race for the regular-season title and No. 1 tournament seed.

It marks the fourth straight year that the teams have split the regular-season conference series, with the Warriors needing to win in the back-end of the home-and-home series for the third time in four years to salvage a split. Western (10-17, 1-7 Little East) downed Eastern, 10-9, a week ago in Mansfield.

Facing Western starter David Alarcon for the second time in a week, Eastern  scored three runs in the third on four hits, three more in the fourth on junior first baseman Joe Balowski's (Berlin) three-run home run, then chased the senior righty in the fifth  by scoring two more on three hits to move out toan 8-4 lead. The Warriors put the game away in a five-run eighth inning when they had sent ten batters to the plate and collected five hits. Sophomore catcher and leadoff hitter Adam Roderick (West Hartford) capped the inning with a two-run double after sophomore pinch hitter Mitch Plourde (Ellington) walked in a run, sophomore third baseman Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield) drove in another on an infield error, and No. 9 hitter Armando Silver (Hartford) plated one with a single.

Senior righty Jim Dimon (Seymour) won his second game in two decisions. In his sixth start, he overcame a rocky first inning (the first six batters reached safely) to pitch six shutout innings the rest of the way. In the game, he allowed four earned runs on five hits and three walks and fanned six.

Eastern improved its team batting average to .326 with 15 hits off five Western pitchers. Balowski,and senior leftfielder Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) each had three hits, with Balowski driving in three runs and scoring three. Roderick reached safely with two hits and a walk in upping his team-leading average to .422.  Cammuso scored twice and drove in two runs, as did Soler. Soler, junior centerfielder Mike Riemer (Ellington) and sophomore DH T.J. Larivee (Salem, MA) all joined Roderick with two hits each.

Eastern hosts defending LEC tournament champion Rhode Island College in a noon doubleheader Saturday at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

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