WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Curry College baseball team salvaged a split with Westfield State University in their opening games at the RussMatt Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. The Colonels move to 1-4 on the season while the Owls sit at 1-1.
The contest remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Nate Barnes (Westfield, Mass.) grounded into a double play. The ball was hit deep enough in the hole to score Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Mass.) to give Westfield State a 1-0 advantage.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the seventh as the Owls had the last at-bats in the final half inning of regulation. John Lippincott opened the frame with a double to right field and an intentional walk followed for Barnes. Aaron Clancy (Quincy, Mass.) had a sacrifice play to move the runners to second and third. After another intentional walk to load the bases, Kyle Murphy (Westfield, Mass.) drew a walk which brought in the winning run.
Cage and Matt Fogarty (Millis, Mass.) went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Colonels while Lafayette was the lone Westfield State player with multiple hits. Tyler Tongue (Hampden, Mass.) was credited with the win, going one inning while giving up one hit and striking out one and walking one. David Griffin (Hanover, Mass.) went six and two-thirds innings while giving up two runs on five hits, striking out three and walking four.
The scoring in the second game commenced in the top of the third with Westfield State striking first. The frame began with Colin Dunn being hit by a pitch. With one man aboard, Dan Rokitowski singled down the right field line to advance Dunn to third. Lafayette would step up to the plate and ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but Dunn would score to give the Owls a 1-0 lead.
Curry answered right back in the bottom of the third as they tallied two runs on three hits. Cage knocked a two-RBI single down the right field line to score Mitchell Carvalho (Cranston, R.I.) and McLean to take a 2-1 lead. The Colonels added one to their lead in the bottom of the fourth after Jared Keller (Oxford, Conn.) flied out to right. The ball was deep enough to score Michael Moreau (Marshfield, Mass.) to increase the gap to two.
Westfield would register one more tally in the top of the sixth as Stephen Brown (Harwich, Mass.) singled to score Lippincott. Curry would take the nightcap by a 3-2 final.
McLean, Carvalho, and Cage finished game two with one hit apiece to lead the Colonels. Three Owls recorded two hits each in the loss.
Brian Burke was credited with the victory, going five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking one. McLean picked up his first save of the season, finishing the final two innings of play. Matt Nunes (Taunton, Mass.) got the loss for Westfield State, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out three and walking three in five innings.
Curry continues their Florida trip on Sunday at 9:15 a.m. for the first game of a doubleheader against Becker. Westfield State battles Farmingdale State in a doubleheader with the first game slated for 9:00 a.m. in Auburndale, Fla.