Desai's seven-hitter sends No. 19 Eastern to third loss in last four games
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Sophomore lefty Josh Desai pitched a seven-hitter through 8 1/3 innings and three batters who were hit by pitch or walked came around to score in Suffolk University's 6-1 baseball win over Eastern Connecticut State University Monday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
At left: Kyle Hart
The win is the third in 14 contests against Eastern (9-4) in this series for Suffolk (10-1), which scored the only runs it would need in the first inning on a game-opening hit-by-pitch, sacrifice bunt, infield single, wild pitch and senior rightfielder Mike Cunningham's RBI single over the third base bag.
Ranked No. 4 in New England, Suffolk won its tenth straight game, third up north. Ranked No. 3 in New England and No. 19 nationally, Eastern lost for the third time in the last four games after a six-game winning streak.
Desai (2-0) allowed only six singles and a double with four strikeouts and two walks. He also hit two batters. Desai carried a five-hit shutout and five-run lead into the seventh inning before the Warriors broke through for their only run on a leadoff double by sophomore DH Kyle Hart (Guilford) and RBI infield ground ball by sophomore leftfielder Adam Roderick (West Hartford).
Within two outs of the team's second complete game of the season, Desai was lifted with two runners aboard in the ninth, and sophomore righty Frank Tierney came on to induce a game-ending double play on a full count.
Batting .362 as a team, Suffolk was limited to seven hits by four Eastern pitchers, but benefited from four walks, two hit-by-pitch and two wild pitches.
Suffolk junior second baseman Devan Jones was hit by the first pitch of the game and scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch. Jones led off the third inning by being hit again and scored the Rams' third run on senior leftfielder Chris Stanley's two-out RBI single to left. Jones' second home run of the season - a two-run blast to lift with two out in the fourth -- made it 5-0 and three consecutive walks and an infield error gave the Rams a 6-1 lead in the eighth.
Jones reached three times and scored three runs. Junior All-New England first baseman Jake Cintolo was the only Suffolk player with more than one hit. His infield single in the first advanced Jones to third base and he also singled leading off the fifth.
Senior second baseman Drew Accomando (Monroe) and Hart each had two hits for Eastern. Accomando is 9-for-16 in his last five games. Hart, who had two hits in as many at-bats as a fifth-inning replacement in right field, is 5-for-12 this season.
Playing 13 home games in a 15-game stretch, Eastern hosts Manhattanville College Wednesday at 4 p.m.