PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A month ago, the Rhode Island College baseball team scored runs in six different innings in ten-run, seven-inning Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
Tuesday, three pitchers for Eastern (19-16, 7-8 LEC) limited Rhode Island (24-13, 8-6 LEC) to runs in only one inning, but the runs were enough as the Anchormen completed a season sweep of the Warriors for the first time in four years with a 4-3 victory at Pontarelli Field.
Having lost five of its previous seven this year, Rhode Island batted around in the sixth inning to erase Eastern's slim one-run lead by scoring all four of its runs after there were two out and one runner aboard. RIC had four hits in the inning and also capitalized on a walk and hit batter to deliver Eastern's third loss in its last four games.
In the sixth, consecutive singles by senior Tyler Calabro and junior Rommy Morel gave the Anchormen a 2-1 lead, and No. 9 hitter Josh Silva singled in the final two insurance runs.
In his third start, sophomore transfer righty Zach Player (East Hampton) lost his first decision after two wins. He was lifted after walking pinch hitter Nate Donovan in the sixth with Eastern down 2-1 and Silva met senior righty Cole Ogorzalek (Portland) with his two-run single.
The Warriors had taken a 1-0 lead off RIC freshman starting righty and winner Connor Davey (5-1) on junior Jake LeFevre's (Mansfield Center) RBI single in the fifth. Down 4-1, the Warriors scored twice in the seventh on opening singles by junior pinch hitter John Mesagno (Tappan, NY) and freshman Owen Marica (Haddam), senior Dale Keller's (Oxford) sacrifice bunt, and senior Ryan Hood's (Arlington, MA) two-run single. As the tying run, Hood advanced to third on the throw and an error at third, but Davey got a called strikeout and infield ground ball to end the threat
Eastern threatened again in the ninth when Mesagno singled again and moved to second on Marica's sacrifice bunt, but junior lefty Jake Rockefeller came on for his fourth save by inducing two infield popouts.
Player fanned seven in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and allowing five hits. Junior righty Drew Alexopoulos (Hansen, MA) didn't allow a ball out of the infield, striking out one, in a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Mesagno and Keller each had two of Eastern's nine hits in the game.
After reaching five Eastern pitchers for 13 hits in the earlier win, RIC managed only seven -- all singles – Tuesday. The team's 2-3-4 hitters, who combined for eight hits, six runs and four RBI the first time around, had two hits, no RBI and scored once this time.
Eastern visits Manhattanville College Wednesday at 4 p.m. in a non-conference game.