Central Connecticut dropped a 2-1 extra-innings contest to LIU Brooklyn on Friday in the opener of their three-game Northeast Conference baseball series. Sophomore Brandon Fox started for CCSU and tossed nine shutout innings, while senior Nick Garland had two hits and drove in the Blue Devils' run.
Central slips to 11-18 overall and 7-8 in the NEC, while LIU improves to 19-15 overall and 9-6 in the NEC.
The series continues on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with a single, nine-inning contest.
Fox and LIU starter, Patrick Clyne combined for 17 strikeouts and did not allow a run in their combined 17.1 innings of work. Fox held LIU hitless over his final 4.0 innings of work and did not allow a runner past second all day. Clyne left with one out in the top of the ninth after striking out 12 and allowing just two hits.
Neither starter would figure in the decision as the game was scoreless until the top of the 11th. Alex Briggs doubled to lead off and then moved to third on a sacrifice. Anthony Warneke followed with a double to the gap in right to bring home the game's first run to make it 1-0.
The Blue Devils tied in the bottom of the inning after senior Dean Lockery walked with one out. He moved to second on an infield single by sophomore Buddy Dewaine and then came home on Garland's single to make it 1-1.
The Blackbirds took the lead again in the top of the 12th after Andrew Smith hit a two-out homerun down the line in right field to make it 2-1.
Central would get a runner in the bottom of the inning after senior Andrew Hinckley drew a base on balls, but Mike Kreiger would get a strikeout to end the game.
Garland singled to lead off the second for Central's first hit, interrupting Clyne's six straight strikeouts to open the game.
Lockery would draw a two-out walk in the sixth to set up CCSU's first scoring opportunity. He stole second base, before moving to third on a wild pitch, but Clyne got out of trouble with a strikeout to end the inning.
Eddie Modica led off the fifth with a single for LIU, but that was the last hit allowed by Fox who scattered just four hits on the day. He allowed a walk in each of the sixth and seventh innings, but managed to leave runners stranded in both innings.
Fox finished the day allowing four hits and two walks in nine innings, while striking out five.
Clyne tossed 8.1 innings and allowed three hits and a walk, while striking out 12.
Garland had two hits and an RBI for CCSU, while Dewaine, Hinckley and freshman Jake Siracusa each added singles.
The Blue Devils and Blackbirds play again on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.