Framingham, Mass. – Junior Mark Mainini drove in three runs as the third seed Framingham State University baseball team erased an early 2-0 deficit with a sixth run third inning to defeat sixth seed Bridgewater State University 8-5 Friday evening in an opening round game of the 2014 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at Bowditch Field in Framingham.
With the win, the Rams improve to 20-16 on the year and advance to the double elimination portion of the tournament. Framingham State will face second seed Salem State University Saturday in Salem at 1 p.m. The Tournament will conclude on Sunday and Monday at top seed Worcester State.
The Bears wasted little time getting as on the scoreboard as they loaded the bases with no outs in the first capitalizing on a pair of errors in the Rams infield. Junior Nicholas White delivered an infield single between third and short scoring the game’s first run. After an out, Junior Anthony Deleo followed with an RBI single to right extending the lead to 2-0. Ram senior Matt DiCato settled in and was able to induce an inning ending double play to squelch the threat.
The Rams batted around in the bottom of the third scoring six runs, all with two outs, to take the lead for good. Junior Matt Gerard and sophomore Jake Wardwell led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After an out, sophomore RJ Gray delivered an RBI single to center plating Wardwell and senior Billy Derosier followed with a single to center scoring Wardwell. However, the Bears misplayed the ball in the outfield allowing Gray to score all the way from first. Mainini plated the Rams fourth run of the frame with a rope up the middle.
The Rams loaded the bases with two outs and freshman Manny Powers delivered a two run double driving Bears starter Andy Sadoski from the game. Reliever Chris Pessotti was able to end the inning with a foul out.
The Rams tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth on a sac fly by Mainini, but Bridgewater State got one back in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Keaghan Austin-MacInnis that scored who had Colin Ryan who had reached on an error.
Framingham added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning on another RBI single by Mainini that scored Gray who had led off the inning with a walk.
In the top of the eighth Sean Brooks and Billy Mitchell hit back-to-back singles with one out. Senior Shane Varnadore followed with a base hit to left scoring Brooks from second cutting the deficit to 8-4.
The Bears opened the top ninth against reliever Brendan McDonough with back to back singles from Ryan Manning and White. Austin-MacInnis followed with an RBI single to right pulling the Bears within three. Powers came on in relief for the Rams quickly recorded two outs with a double play ball. After a walk gave the Bears runners on the corners, Powers retired the final batter with a strikeout to seal the victory.
DiCato earned the victory for the Rams going eight innings and allowing four runs, one earned, on 11 hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Powers picked up his fourth save of the season recorded the final three outs of the game with a walk and a punch out.
Sadoski was tagged with the loss for the Bears going 2 and 2/3 innings allowing six runs, all earned, on six hits with three Ks. Pessotti tossed 3 and 1/3 innings allowing two earned runs on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk. David Holmes finished the game for the Bears tossing two innings of scoreless relief.
Gray finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Mainini went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Powers went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Wardwell also finished with a pair of hits.
Austin-MacInnis went 2-for-4 for the Bears with two RBI, while White finished the game 3-for-5 and Varnadore went 3-for-4.