WESTFIELD, Mass. - Westfield State University rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Salem State University, 2-1, and earn a doubleheader split in MASCAC baseball action on Monday, April 21.
The Vikings, who are ranked sixth in this week's New England Division III baseball poll, blanked the Owls in the opener, 4-0.
It was the first conference setback for Salem, which is 11-1 in the MASCAC and 24-12 overall. Westfield is 5-7 and 13-14-1.
After being shut out for 13 consecutive innings, Westfield finally scored with the aid of two costly Salem miscues.
Kyle Colesanti led off the Westfield's final at bat in game two with a single through the left side. Kyle Murphy dropped down a sacrifice bunt attempt and Salem first baseman Matt Burgess opted to make the long throw to second base for a force play. But he short hopped his errant throw to second base and the Owls had runners at first and second with no outs.
Jeremy Tanguay was hit but a pitch to load the bases then Dan McCormack tied the score by ripping a single to center field. Murphy attempted to score from second on McCormack's hit but he was easily gunned down by a strong throw from center fielder Ethan Trowt.
Tyler Adams then ended the game with a stunning RBI groundout. Adams hit a high chopper that was fielded by third baseman Colton Fontaine in the infield grass. Tanguay was running on contact from third base, but instead of trying to cut down Tanguay at the plate, Fontaine immediately threw the first base to retire Adams, allowing Tanguay to score the game-winning run.
With Westfield's Mike Sullivan and Salem's Tim Woods both pitching outstanding games, the Vikings snapped a scoreless tie with a run in the fifth. Brett Cahill led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Genaro Ciulla, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on Ryan Believeau's single up the middle.
Sullivan hurled six innings, allowed four hits and no walks and fanned five. Kevin Zyrkowski pitched the seven to earn the victory. Woods went six innings, allowing six hits and two walks and fanning five. The Vikings used three relief pitchers in the seventh inning.
Westfield out-hit Salem, 8-4. McCormack was 3 for 3 and catcher E.G. McMillan was 2 for 2.
In the Vikings' 4-0 victory in the opener, Mike Richardson tossed a six-hit shutout and Cahill was 3 for 3 with an RBI.
Salem only had five hits in the first game, but it manufactured a run in the second, two in the fourth and a run in the fifth.
In the second, Cahill reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Beliveau.
The Vikings scored twice in the fourth with the aid of a hit by pitch, a walk, and a wild pitch. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt led to the fourth run.
Designated hitter Tim Santilli was 2 for 3 for the Owls.
Richardson struck out four and walked one in the complete game victory. Pete Liimatainen pitched the first four innings for the mound setback.