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Baseball: Pelella Triggers Shutout

He scatters three singles in 7 innings to gain first career win in first start

pelella_tie_72_6466.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  In his first career start, sophomore righty Brent Pelella (Southbury) shut out Roger Williams University on three hits through seven innings to propel the No. 23 Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 2-0 non-conference victory Thursday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Brent Pelella

In his tenth career appearance, Pelella (1-0) and sophomore righty Tyler Cyr (Bristol) and senior righty Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) combined on the team's first shutout since Greg Porter (Mystic), Purnell and Michael Hepple combined on a four-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Manhattanville College at the Eastern Baseball Stadium on April 18 of last year.

Pelella, who has not allowed a run and only six hits (all singles) in 12 2/3 innings this year, stranded three runners when he gave up two hits and issued his only walk in the first two innings, but settled down to allow only one more hit and faced just one batter over the minimum over his final five innings of work. He fanned five and threw two wild pitches.

Cyr and Purnell (third save of the year) each pitched a hitless inning to close out Pelella's first career victory in his first decision. Facing the tying run at the plate after issuing a two-out walk, Purnell got a called strike three to end the game.

vaccarelli72_4361.jpgA leadoff walk to freshman DH Pete Gonski (East Lyme) and a two-out hit batter set the stage for junior third baseman Mike Vaccarelli's (Wolcott) RBI infield single that gave Eastern a 1-0 lead in the third. Vaccarelli legged out the infield single, and when the bouncing throw from senior shortstop John Oppenhimer pulled sophomore first baseman Reid Nelson off the bag toward right field, Gonski scored from second on a slide at the plate.

At left: Mike Vaccarelli

Senior centerfielder Mike Riemer's (Ellington) leadoff home run to left in the sixth - his team-leading second - made it 2-0 and were the only runs allowed by Roger Williams (9-7) freshman starting righty George Lund and  senior righty reliever Tony Trafecanty.

Lund (1-1) limited Eastern to three hits and both of its runs through five innings to absorb his first career loss in his second career start while Trafecanty threw three shutout innings, also giving up three hits.

After putting together its first flawless fielding effort since the opener yesterday against Manhattanville, Eastern commited just one error against the Hawks to improve its season percentage to .957. The mddle infield of junior Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield) and senior Drew Accomando (Monroe) handled 11 chances with just one miscue.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at noon, hosting Plymouth State University in doubleheader.


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