Chamberlain pitches team to opening win; clutch hits elusive in nightcap
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) spaced five singles over six innings and senior second baseman Drew Accomando (Monroe) and junior shortstop Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield) drove in runs in a three-run fifth inning to lift No. 19 Eastern Connecticut State University to its tenth straight baseball victory over Westfield State University, 7-1, in the opening game of a non-conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
At right: Brendan Lynch
In the second game, Eastern (9-3) stranded seven runners in scoring position - four of them at third base - as Westfield (4-7) ended an overall seven-game losing streak with a 6-5 triumph.
In the first game, Chamberlain (3-0) lowered his ERA to 1.66 by fanning seven and walking three. Eastern led 3-0 before Westfield scored its only run with a two-out single by team batting leader Dan Rokitowski. The Warriors moved out to a 6-1 lead by scoring three times in the fifth off complete-game loser Peter Cassidy on three doubles, a walk, passed ball and wild pitch. Lynch's double plated sophomore DH Adam Roderick (West Hartford), who opened the inning with a double, and Accomando drove in senior first baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) and senior centerfielder Mike Riemer (Ellington) with a double to right-center.
Westfield broke a 5-5 tie in the sixth inning of the nightcap on a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Greene. An inning-opening infield single, a pair of bunts by Mike Molta and Rokitowski and an intentional walk loaded the bases with two out to set up the tie-breaking free pass.
The Warriors trailed throughout the second game - leaving six runners in scoring position through the first five innings - before finally tying the game, 5-5 in the sixth with three runs. An infield error ignited the rally before junior third baseman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott) plated the first two runs with a single to right-center, and Lynch's sacrifice fly tied the game.
Down 6-5 in the seventh, Riemer and freshman rightfielder Pete Gonski (East Lyme) singled, but winning pitcher Kevin Zyrkowski induced a ground ball and fly out to center to end the game.
Vaccarelli finished the day with four hits and drove in three runs, as did Lynch and Accomando. Riemer reached safely five times with three hits and two walks and Accomando reached safely four times with two hits and two walks. He doubled and tripled. Lynch doubled twice among his three hits.
Westfield's Greene drove in four runs on the day, three of them coming in the nightcap on a pair of singles after he had fanned twice in the opener. He also reached on an error and walked in four plate appearances in Game 2. Molta and Evan Moorhouse also collected three hits. Playing only in the second game, Andrew Medeiros reached safely all four times with a single, wind-blow, sun-aided triple which was dropped in right field, sacrifice fly and intentional walk in the sixth during the Owls' game-winning rally.
In the second game, five Westfield pitchers tossed one inning apiece before Zyrkowski (1-0) came on to get all three outs in the sixth on a game-tying sacrifice fly and inning-ending double play, and leave the tying run aboard in the seventh.
Eastern hosts Suffolk University Monday at 3:30 p.m.