Western Connecticut splits double header at Rhode Island College

from the desk of Scott Gibbons - RIC SID

Box Score Game 1
Box Score Game 2

PROVIDENCE, RI (Apr. 28) - Senior shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA) became the first player in Rhode Island College baseball history to reach 200 career hits as RIC split a Little East Conference doubleheader with Western Connecticut at Anchorman Field on Saturday afternoon.

Western Connecticut (15-19, 3-9 LEC) took the first game, 15-3 (seven innings), while the Anchormen (23-13, 8-4 LEC), bounced back with a 12-9 victory in the nightcap.

Rhode Island College, along with Keene State and Eastern Connecticut, is one game behind first place Southern Maine with one Little East doubleheader left to play. The Anchormen are scheduled to play at UMass Boston on Friday, May 4 (noon) in the regular season finale.

In game one, Western struck first in the top of the opening frame as junior third baseman Chris Alberto (Trumbull, CT) doubled to left center field and senior center fielder Mike Yates (Guilford, CT) walked. RIC sophomore starter C.J. Tsoumakas (Hope, RI) got a strikeout, but senior second baseman Zach Dandrea (Wanaque, NY) belted a homer (8) to left center, which staked the Colonials to a 3-0 lead.

The RIC offense got two runs back right away in the bottom of the first as  Allaire drew a leadoff walk and classmate catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI) reached on an error. Western sophomore starter Nick Vig (Monroe, CT) got senior first baseman Dan Hopkins (Cranston, RI) to flyout, but senior left fielder Brent Hopkins (Cranston, RI) came through with a two-run single to center, which made it a 3-2 ballgame.

The Colonials answered back with a pair of runs in the third as senior catcher David Simone (Danbury, CT), walked, stole second and moved over to third on a ground out. Senior right fielder Kyle Savo (West Haven, CT) clouted a two-run bomb (1) over the right field fence to make it 5-2.

A two-run homer (8) by junior right fielder Conor Bierfeldt (Torrington, CT) staked the visitors to a 7-3 lead in the fourth. RIC mounted a comeback in the bottom of the stanza as sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) doubled to right center and scored on freshman right fielder Dean Grasso’s (Cranston, RI) RBI single. Senior second baseman Joan Mustafa (Providence, RI) was hit by a pitch and junior center fielder Kevin Carey (Wakefield, RI) walked to load the bases with one down, but Vig forced a ground ball, 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Freshman Dylan Cummiskey (Warwick, RI) came on in the fifth for Tsoumakas. Simone led off with a walk, and after a flyout, Savo singled to left center to put runners on the corners.  Sophomore designated hitter Austin Howard (Bristol, CT) singled to right to bring in Simone and give WCSU an 8-3 lead.

With two down in the sixth, RIC loaded the bases as junior third baseman Cody Ortega (Kissimmee, FL) and Carey each singled and Allaire was issued a walk. Vig got out of his third bases loaded jam on the day by getting Stone to fly out.

In the seventh, junior first baseman Bill Eannotti (Shelton, CT) doubled, Savo walked and Howard singled to load the bases. Sophomore shortstop Bobby Coyne (Clinton, CT) singled up the middle to bring in a pair and RIC brought in junior Kyle Florio (Plantsville, CT) to relieve Cummiskey. However, Coyne swiped second and Alberto walked to load the sacks. Yates broke the game open for good with a three-run double down the left field line to make it 13-3. Bierfeldt  and Simone hit back-to-back RBI doubles to increase the visitors lead to 15-3.

Vig got the win (3-5), allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits. He walked six and struck out six. Tsoumakas took the loss (3-5), allowing seven runs on seven hits, while registering eight strikeouts.

RIC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second to start game two. Mustafa reached on an error and later advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Carey followed by reaching on an error to put runners on the corners. Allaire then knocked in Mustafa with his 200th career hit.

The hosts tacked on two more in the third as a Mustafa two-run double scored Grasso and sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) to give the Anchormen a 3-0 lead.

WCSU got on the scoreboard against RIC junior starter David Hoey (Lincoln, RI) in the fourth. Yates singled, stole second and came home on a Dandrea single to center to make the score 3-1.

In the fourth, Dan Hopkins blasted a three-run homer (3) to right center field with Allaire and Stone aboard and Verrecchia clouted a two-run shot (1) with Brent Hopkins on the basepaths. Grasso scored on a wild pitch to cap the six-run inning and give the Anchormen a 9-1 lead.

Western put two more runs on the board in its half of the fifth as Eannotti singled and moved up to third on Savo’s double to left that Brent Hopkins nearly came up with on a diving attempt. Junior catcher Matt Rosbrough (Ansonia, CT) brought in Eannotti with a fielder’s choice RBI ground out and sophomore shortstop Jeff John (Trumbull, CT) brought in Savo with another fielder’s choice.

Allaire doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth, stole second and came across on a Stone RBI fielder’s choice to raise the RIC lead to seven runs, 10-3.

In the sixth, Eannotti contributed an RBI single to center field to bring in Dandrea. Two innings later, Yates walked and Bierfeldt bashed a two-run shot (9) over the left field fence to pull the visitors within four, 10-6.

RIC tacked on some very important insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on a Grasso RBI single and a Carey sacrifice fly to make it a 12-6 game.

In the top of the ninth, WCSU loaded the bases on a single, walk and a hit batsman. With two down, Dandrea delivered a bases-clearing double to right center and cut their deficit to three, 12-9. RIC junior Chris Mann (West Warwick, RI) came on to get a clutch strikeout and secure the win with his second save.

Western senior starter Dave Alarcon (Plymouth, CT) took the loss (0-3), allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 3.1 innings of work. He walked three and struck out two. Hoey picked up his fifth win (5-1). He surrendered four runs on eight hits to go along with nine strikeouts in six innings.

Grasso went 5-for-9 with three runs scored an two RBI for RIC. Allaire went 4-for-8 with three runs scored, one double, an RBI and a stolen base.

Savo went 4-for-7 with three runs scored, a double, one home run and two RBI. Yates went 3-for-6 with five runs scored, a double and two steals. Dandrea went 4-for-10 with two runs scored, two doubles, a homer and seven RBI.

In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will play at MIT on Wednesday, May 2 (4 p.m.). The Colonials play host to Ramapo College on Monday at 4:30 pm.

Western Connecticut 15, Rhode Island College 3 (Apr 28, 2012 at Providence, R.I.) (Game 1)
Western Connecticut. 302 210 7 - 15 15 3 (15-18, 3-8 LEC)
Rhode Island College 200 100 0 - 3 7 0 (22-13, 7-4 LEC)
Pitchers: Western Connecticut - Nick Vig and David Simone. Rhode Island College - C. Tsoumakas; D. Cummiskey(5); K. Florio(7); J. Brooks(7) and J.P. Stone.
Win-Nick Vig(3-5) Loss-C. Tsoumakas(3-5) T-2:25 A-175
HR WCSUBB - Conor Bierfeldt (8); Zack Dandrea (8); Kyle Savo (1).

Rhode Island College 12, Western Connecticut 9 (Apr 28, 2012 at Providence, R.I.) (Game 2)
Western Connecticut. 000 121 023 - 9 12 4 (15-19, 3-9 LEC)
Rhode Island College 012 610 02X - 12 14 0 (23-13, 8-4 LEC)
Pitchers: Western Connecticut - Dave Alarcon; Joe Fedak(4); Rob Valunas(5); Zack Taylor(8) and Matt Rosbrough. Rhode Island College - D. Hoey; E. Blanchard(7); M. DeWald(9); C. Mann(9) and J.P. Stone.
Win-D. Hoey(5-1) Save-C. Mann(2) Loss-Dave Alarcon(0-3) T-2:45 A-175
HR WCSUBB - Conor Bierfeldt (9).
HR RICBB - D. Hopkins (3); A.Verrecchia (1).
J. Fedak faced 1 batter in the 5th.
R. Valunas faced 3 batters in the 8th.