Westfield State Takes Two From Salem State; Wins Opener On Suicide Squeeze
WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Westfield State University baseball team swept a double header from Salem State University, 7-6, 10-5, in a key conference action on Monday, April 16.
Salem State is 24-8 overall and 5-3 in the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference after the tough twinbill setback. Westfield State is 13-14 and 5-3.
The Owls won the opener with one of the most exciting plays in baseball, a walk-off suicide squeeze bunt by Alex Cloutier. In the nightcap, a seven-run fourth inning uprising led Westfield to the big DH sweep.
In the opener, Westfield tied the score at 6-all in the bottom of the sixth on Matt Kelly's one-out, two-run triple to left center following two walks. With the infield drawn in, Dan Rokitowski was retired on a grounder for the second out, and Andrew Medeiros hit a towering shot that was caught near the center field fence for the third out.
After reliever and winning pitcher Curt Everett retired Salem in the seventh, Kevin Greene began Westfield's seventh inning by ripping a double down the right field line on a 0-2 pitch.
Josh Blair reached safely when his sacrifice bunt was mishandled by the third baseman to place runners at first and third. Tim Santilli struck out then Cloutier placed a high chopper bunt to the pitcher on a 3-1 count. Greene slid underneath the catcher's tag to score the game-winning run.
Salem took an early 3-0 lead in the opener, scoring three unearned runs with the aid of two sacrifice bunts and a throwing error.
Westfield went ahead, 4-3, with a four-run third inning. Rokitowski ripped a two-run double for the big blow in the frame.
Salem regained the lead, 5-4, in the fifth on a two-run single by Nick Conti. The Vikings added another run in the sixth on Chris Cocci's suicide squeeze bunt.
Westfield outhit Salem, 9-5. Greene was 3 for 3 and Kelly was 2 for 4 with his big two-run triple.
Steve Buitkus and Kevin Salines each had two hits for the Vikings.
Westfield starting pitcher Roman Mondalto hurled the front six innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs and three walks. He hit four batters and struck out four.
In the second game, Westfield was outhit, 10-8, but the Owls bunched all of their hits in the two innings they scored. They rapped five hits in the seven-run fourth inning that gave them a 7-2 lead, and the other three hits in their three-run fifth inning.
Greene lined a two-run single in the fourth and Blair blasted a two RBI triple. In the fifth, Cloutier (RBI single) and Bobby Wagner (two-run single) delivered the key hits as Westfield took a 10-2 lead.
Salem scored three runs in the sixth but reliever Kevin Zyrkowski pitched an inning and a third to stop Salem.
Everett, who picked up the victory in the opener, started the second game but was yanked after two innings. Tommy Carroll, the third of fourth Owl pitchers, was credited with the victory in game two.
Medeiros was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored as he was the only Owl with multiple hits.
Buitkus also had two hits in the nightcap and Brett Cahill was 3 for 4 a double. Bill Catalado clubbed a pinch-hit two-run double in the sixth inning.