Worcester, MA --- Freshman Nick Bonofiglio (Worcester, MA/Holy Name) went seven strong innings allowing four hits and one unearned run with five strikeouts as Worcester State defeated crosstown rival WPI 6-1 at Assumption's Rocheleau Field in non-conference baseball action this afternoon.
With the victory the Lancers improve to 6-3 while the Engineers slip to 4-10. WSU leads the all-time series, 22-17.
Junior Joe Eramo (Shirley, MA) also paced the effort going 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI while senior Corey McDonald (Hudson, MA) and sophomore Chris Creen (Worcester, MA/St. John's) both tallied two hits apiece as they combined for three trips to home plate. McDonald also drove in a pair of runs.
The Crimson and Gray were propelled by junior Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) who went 2-for-4 while senior Bryan Watkins (Belmont, MA) accounted for WPI's only run of the contest.
Worcester State jumped on the scoreboard with the 2-0 lead after two innings of play. Senior Nick Fluegge (Ware, MA) drove in Creen, who reached on a double in the first inning, and then Eramo plated junior Tyler McElman (Marlboro, MA), who led off the second with a single and moved up one base on a misplayed ball in the outfield.
The Lancers built on their advantage with two more runs coming in the form of an RBI double by McDonald and a sacrifice fly by senior Paul Rodriguez (San Antonio, TX) for the 4-0 advantage after three full frames.
WPI had a hard time figuring out Bonofiglio (2-0) as he would set down 16 of the first 21 batters that he would face. The first-year southpaw set the tone early as he retired three of his first four batters with strikeouts looking.
The Engineers would break the shutout bid in the top of the seventh. Watkins was hit by a pitch and then third-year John Flynn (Albion, ME) drew a walk to put runners on first and second. After a bunt moved both runners over, Watkins would come home on a passed ball. Bonofiglio then buckled down and got the next two outs to strand a man at third.
The Blue and Gold would respond with an RBI double by junior Kyle Wilson (Norwich, CT) and a run producing single by McDonald for the 6-1 edge.
After junior Joe Piscitelli (Oxford, MA) tossed a scoreless eighth, the Boynton Hillers would get take advantage of a hit batter and two errors in the ninth to load the bases. But sophomore Shaun Slattery (Gardner, MA) induced a double-play to end the contest.
Third-year Forrest Dwyer (Winthrop, ME) absorbed the setback for the WPI as he went six 1/3 innings allowing 10 hits and six earned runs. Dwyer (1-1) notched two punch-outs as he issued no free passes.
The Lancers continue their season with a non-conference twinbill against NEAC East Champion Castleton State on Saturday at 12 PM at a site to be determined while WPI entertains Springfield at Assumption on Friday in the first of a three-game NEWMAC series.