MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME BASEBALL
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Hagan Field, Westfield, Mass.
GAME #1 FINAL: MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 4, WESTFIELD STATE 2
GAME #2 FINAL: MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 7, WESTFIELD STATE 3
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Juniors Kevin Kwedor (Marshfield, Mass.) and Alex Rozak (Plymouth, Mass.) provided quality starts on the mound as Massachusetts Maritime captured a share of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball regular season championship for the first time in 33 years by sweeping a league doubleheader from Westfield State Saturday afternoon by scores of 4-2 in the opener and 7-3 in the nightcap in games played at Hagan Field.
The visiting Buccaneers, who have won seven straight in improving to 16-9 overall while finishing 10-4 in MASCAC play, tied for the conference title with both Worcester State and Salem State, but Massachusetts Maritime will host the 2015 MASCAC tournament next weekend at Commodore Hendy Field by virtue of twinbill sweeps of both Framingham State and Westfield State this week.
The MASCAC championship is the first for the Buccaneers since 1982, when Head Coach Bob Corradi was in his 10th season at the helm and Massachusetts Maritime won a school record 28 games en route to also claiming the ECAC New England crown. The Buccaneers were picked to finish fifth in the league's pre-season poll in Corradi's 43rd and final season as head coach, as Massachusetts Maritime has won eight of its last nine and nine of its last 11 outings dating back to April 12th.
"Unbelievable. Unbelievable, that's all I can say right now," Corradi, who earned his 577th and 578th career victories with today's sweep. "These kids have battled all year. They've battled the brutal winter and having so many games cancelled. They've battled tough opponents in our league and have shown great resiliency. I'm just so happy for them, and especially for my seniors, who will go out as champions."
Massachusetts Maritime Baseball
Westfield State Summary
Massachusetts Maritime took a 1-0 lead in the third inning of the opener on freshman William Keane's (Braintree, Mass.) RBI single, but the host Owls (18-11, 5-7 MASCAC) evened matters in the bottom of the frame when junior Connor Sheridan (South Hadley, Mass.) stole home. That score held up until the sixth when sophomore Jake Petruzzelli (Abington, Mass.) ignited a three-run rally with an RBI single that gave the Buccaneers the lead for good, and the visitors added two more tallies on Keane's second run scoring single of the day that was followed by an RBI double off the bat of senior Bobby Rosano (North Reading, Mass.). Westfield State threatened in the seventh by loading the bases with one out, but the hosts were able to plate only a single run on Sheridan's RBI fielder's choice that accounted for the final.
Petruzzelli rapped out two of Massachusetts Maritime's eight opening game hits, as Kwedor scattered five hits and worked around three walks while striking out seven to improve to 6-2 on the mound. Junior Kyle Kennedy (Woodbury, Conn.) allowed two hits and a walk in the final frame, but he escaped with just a run allowed to earn his fourth save of the spring for the Buccaneers. Senior Jeremy Tanguay (Huntington, Mass.) and sophomore Nate Barnes (Westfield, Mass.) each had two of Westfield State's seven hits in the opening setback, as senior Tommy Nowlan (Williamstown, Mass.) allowed a pair of earned runs and fanned five in going the distance on the hill for the Owls, falling to 2-1 on the season.
Senior Greg Downs (Marshfield, Mass.) staked Massachusetts Maritime to a second inning lead in the nightcap with a two-run homer (his second of the spring), but Westfield State sliced that margin to one in the third on an RBI double by junior Dan McCormack (Shelton, Conn.). The Buccaneers took control of the contest with a three-run fifth inning rally highlighted by a two-run triple off the bat of freshman Logan Sullo (Acushnet, Mass.), who then scored on fellow freshman Connor Kennedy's (West Barnstable, Mass.) RBI single, but the Owls got a run back in the bottom of the frame on McCormack's second run-scoring two-bagger of the contest. The visitors extended their edge to 6-2 in the sixth on Rosano's sacrifice fly and added an insurance tally in the seventh on Connor Kennedy's second RBI single of the game, as the hosts again threatened in the bottom of the inning but scored just once on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Pat McWilliams (Duxbury, Mass.) to give Massachusetts Maritime its first twinbill sweep of Westfield State since 1996.
Connor Kennedy collected three of the Buccaneers' 13 hits in the nightcap triumph, while Sullo, Keane and junior Everett Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.) each had two hits for the visitors. Rozak allowed a pair of runs over the first four innings of work in improving to 4-1 on the season for Massachusetts Maritime, as senior Zac Cooney (East Bridgewater, Mass.) allowed three hits and struck out four in recording the final nine outs to earn his sixth save of the spring. McCormack rapped out three of Westfield State's seven hits in the second game setback, as junior Justin Thomson (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings of work to fall to 2-2 on the mound for the Owls.
Massachusetts Maritime hosts MCLA in a non-league outing on Sunday afternoon at Commodore Hendy Field beginning at 2:00 p.m., while Westfield State heads to Fitchburg, Mass. on Sunday afternoon to take on Fitchburg State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader that begins at Noon.