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Baseball: Starters Sharp in Sweep

 Riemer and Ververis each hit three-run home runs in second game


YAPHANK, N.Y. - Senior centerfielder Mike Riemer (Ellington) had three hits in the opener and socked a three-run home run in the nightcap to power the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to 9-3, 8-5 non-conference victories over Purchase College Monday at Baseball Heaven.

At right: Tom Darby

In the first meetings ever with Purchase (1-4), Eastern (5-1) got strong starting pitching for the fifth time in six outings this year, with senior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) allowing only one run on three hits over the first six innings of the opener, and senior lefty Tom Darby (Middletown, RI) stopping the Panthers on four hits and no earned runs over the first five innings of the nightcap.

Both starters won their second decisions in as many starts this year.

Riemer and sophomore leftfielder and leadoff hitter Adam Roderick (West Hartford) each had three hits in the first game in Eastern's 14-hit attack, with Roderick, No. 2 hitter shortstop Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield),  senior rightfielder Tyler Caserta (Stratford), and junior DH Gavin Lavallee (New Milford) all scoring two runs. Lynch also stole three bases on the day and scored three runs.

Chamberlain allowed only a solo home run with two out in the fourth and left with a 7-1 lead, striking out seven and walking one. Sophomore catcher Cory DeMedeiros (Fall River, MA) and senior first baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) both drove in two runs. Eastern scored runs in five of eight innings.


Riemer  and first-year junior transfer Nik Ververis (Plainfield) hit three-run home runs to spark the Warriors to an 8-0 lead after three innings of the nightcap, and senior righty Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) pitched two scoreless innings for his second save as the Warriors completed the sweep.

This sixth-inning sacrifice bunt in the first game by Drew Accomando (at left) set up a three-run inning that gave the Warriors a 7-1 lead. 

 Thanks to four errors, 11 of the runs in the second game were unearned -- including all of the runs scored by Purchase. After picking up three hits in the opener, Riemer drilled a three-run home run in the first inning of the second game after Lynch  reached on an error and junior third baseman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott) walked. Batting ninth in the order Ververis ripped a three-run home run - his first home run and RBIs in an Eastern uniform  after transferring from Husson University- with two out in the third to make it 8-0. Sophomore transfer second baseman Corey Keane (Tolland) plated his first two runs in an Eastern uniform with sacrifice flies in the first and third.

Darby struck out seven and hit one batter without issuing a walk to gain his eighth career victory without a loss.  Darby surrendered just one hit through the first four innings, that coming when an outfield fly ball was lost in the lights and fell in for a double.Darby sandwiched two strikeouts around a single in the fifth before an infield error prolonged the inning  and consecutive hits accounted for three RBI.

Leading 8-5, Eastern loaded the bases with none out in the seventh but Phil Georges struck out the side to end the threat. Purnell struck out four and gave up only one hit in recording the final six outs.

Eastern visits SUNY Old Westbury Sunday at noon.



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