HARTFORD, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University head coach Bill Holowaty became the tenth head baseball coach at any collegiate level to win as many as 1,400 games when the Warriors won their fifth straight game in a 6-2 non-conference victory over Trinity College Monday afternoon.
The winningest collegiate coach of any sport at any level in New England history, Holowaty (1,400-523-7) is currently the winningest active coach in NCAA Division III and the third-winningest coach of all time in NCAA Division III history, trailing only retired coach Gordie Gillespie and the late Don Schaly. Gillespie won 1,893 games in a 59-year coaching career with three different institutions between 1953 and 2011. Schaly won 1,438 games in 40 seasons at Marietta between 1964 and 2003.
As the tenth-winningest head baseball coach in collegiate history, Holowaty joins such notable 1,400-game winners as current Texas coach Augie Garrido, Gene Stephenson of Wichita State, Mike Martin of Florida State, Mark Marquess of Stanford and Cliff Gustafson, formerly of Texas. Holowaty is one of five active coaches on that list.
In 44 full seasons, Holowaty's teams have won four national titles (most recently in 2002) and qualified for 14 national tournaments and have averaged 31.4 wins.
Against Trinity, Eastern (18-8-1) managed only six hits but scored four unearned runs against five Trinity (14-13) pitchers and senior righty Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) pitched into the sixth inning to gain his first win since the opening weekend of the season. Merritt (2-1) allowed two runs on 11 hits but did not walk a batter and struck out six as Eastern lowered its staff ERA to 2.78.
At left: Joe Balowski
All-Region senior first baseman Joe Balowski had a tying RBI double (the only extra-base hit of the game by either team) and scored the go-ahead run on a two-run outfield error as part of a three-run Eastern fourth inning, which included two walks.
Leading 3-2, Eastern added an insurance run in the sixth on a leadoff single by senior rightfielder Tyler Caserta, a sacrifice bunt by senior centerfielder and cleanup hitter Mike Riemer and an RBI single by junior DH Gavin Lavallee, and tacked on two unearned insurance runs in the seventh on singles by senior rightfielder Tyler Caserta and junior third baseman Mike Vaccarelli, an infield error and a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Brendan Lynch.
Balowski is hitting .357 in his last ten games to raise his batting average 37 points to .299.
Senior rightfielder Alex Almeida, batting leadoff, had four hits for the Bantams, who have lost five straight his season and four in a row to Eastern.
Eastern returns to Little East Conference action Tuesday when it hosts Western Connecticut State University at 3 p.m.