The Central Connecticut baseball team earned a 6-0 victory over Mount St. Mary's on Friday afternoon behind a dominating effort from senior right-hander Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin tossed nine innings to pitch his second consecutive shutout and help the Blue Devils improve to 8-7 on the season and 1-0 in Northeast Conference play. Coughlin struck out six while scattering five hits and two walks. He faced just 33 batters, six over the minimum, in the game.
The Mountaineers (6-10, 0-1 NEC) had their best opportunity to score in the seventh inning with runners on first and second with one out, but Coughlin worked out of the jam with the help of his defense. Freshman Matt Blandino ran down a long fly ball to left field for the second out of the inning and then senior second baseman Josh Ingham ranged far to his left to field a ground ball for the final out of the inning.
Offensively, the Blue Devils got Coughlin all of the run support that he would need in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Jeff Osak walked and was sacrificed to second by Blandino. Senior JP Sportman singled to move Oask to third and Ingham followed with a base hit to score CCSU's first run of the game.
CCSU added two more runs in the second inning with senior Anthony Turgeon doubling to left, freshman Bryan Rivera following with a base hit and Osak walking to load the bases. The next batter hit a ground ball to third base, which the third baseman fielded and threw home, but the throw was dropped by the catcher allowing Turgeon to score. Rivera also scored on the play as he hustled in from second while the ball rolled away from the catcher.
The Blue Devils added three insurance runs in the seventh inning as Sportman, Ingham, Severino and freshman Tom Rinaldi strung together four-straight hits with two outs.
For Coughlin the shutout extends his scoreless innings streak to 20. He allowed a run in the fourth inning of his March 21 start against Bethune-Cookman. He pitched a scoreless fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in that game before pitching a seven-inning shutout against Seton Hall last Saturday and a nine-inning shutout today. He has also allowed just one runner to reach third base over his last 16 innings.
The victory improves his record to 3-1 on the season. Karl Lamont took the loss for the Mountaineers to fall to 1-2 on the year.
Ingham finished the game three-for-four at the plate, while Sportman recorded two hits in four at bats.
Mount St. Mary's leadoff hitter Brandon Scott had three hits in four at bats on the day. He was responsible for three of the Mountaineers five hits.
The Blue Devils and Mountaineers will play a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon with the first game scheduled for a 12 p.m. start. The series will conclude on Sunday with a single nine-inning game.