The Central Connecticut baseball team fell to North Dakota State, 2-0, in the 2018 season-opener at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda, FL. CCSU senior Andrew Hinckley started on the mound and allowed just one unearned run in 6.0 innings of work, but NDSU's Riley Johnson tossed a complete game and did not allow a hit to stifle the Central offense.
Central is 0-1 on the year, while NDSU is now 3-2 overall.
The Blue Devils and Bison will continue the series on Saturday with first pitch set for 3:00 p.m. at North Charlotte Regional Park (1185 O'Donnell Blvd, Port Charlotte, FL 33953).
The Bison opened the scoring in the third inning. Matt Elsenpeter reached on an error with one out and moved to second following a walk. Drew Fearing deliverd a two-out single to drive in Elsenpeter to make it 1-0.
Johnson would retire the first 17 batters he faced until freshman Jeremy Sagun drew a two-out walk. Senior Dean Lockery followed and reached on an NDSU error to put runners on first and second. Johnson ended the threat by getting a fly out.
Johnson sat down the last 10 batters he faced and got an insurance run in the eighth. The Bison loaded the bases with one out and Elsenpeter drew a walk to bring home a run to make it 2-0. Central ended the inning with a double-play on the next play to avoid further damage.
Hinckley was saddled with the loss, but went 6.0 innings and allowed an unearned run on three hits. He struck out four and walked four. Junior Patrick Mitchell was charged with one run in 1.1 innings of work, while allowing three hits with a walk and strikeout. Senior Kyle Anderson tossed the final .2 innings, allowing a walk.
Elsenpeter scored a run and knocked in another for NDSU. Six different players recorded hits, with Bennett Hostetler and Logan Busch each recording a double.
Johnson improved to 2-0 on the year. He struck out eight, while walking one.