The Central Connecticut baseball team took the opener of a three-game Northeast Conference series at Wagner, 7-2, on Friday in Staten Island, NY. The Blue Devils weathered a 40-minute rain delay and got strong pitching from seniors Tom Curtin and Mike Appel in the victory. CCSU moves to 19-18 overall and 9-7 in the NEC with the win, while Wagner is now 15-25 overall and 8-11 in the league.
The teams are slated to play again on Saturday, May 4, in a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader.
Wagner took the early lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. After a lead-off double, Brandon Hall followed with a single to make it 1-0. Following a pair of outs, the Seahawks got back-to-back hits, with a double from Anthony Pecora driving in a run to make it 2-0.
Central cut the lead in half with a run in the third inning. Sophomore Matt Bertochi walked with one out and moved to third on a single by junior Chandler Debrosse. Sophomore Sam Loda followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.
The Blue Devils loaded the bases in the fourth, but came away empty until pushing across three runs in the sixth. CCSU opened the inning with a single and a walk by juniors Dave Matthews and Buddy Dewaine, respectively. With one out, sophomore Peyton Stephens sliced a single to right field that drove in Matthews to make it 2-2. Dewaine would give the Blue Devils when he came across on a wild pitch. Stephens would score on another wild pitch to make it 4-2 before the game went into a 40-minute rain delay.
Curtin would get two outs to open the inning before being relieved after allowing a two-out single. Appel came on and after allowing a walk, he would get a strikeout to end the inning.
CCSU tacked on three runs in the seventh inning Debrosse singled to lead off, followed by an error that allowed Loda to reach. A wild pitch would advance the runners and a one-out intentional walk to Matthews would load the bases. Dewaine followed with a two-run single to left that pushed the lead to 6-2. A wild pitch with two outs would allow Matthews to score and make it 7-2.
Appel, who came on in relief of Curtin, struck out a pair of hitters in the seventh before striking out the side in the eighth. He would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the game and pick up his third save of the season.
Curtin improved to 3-3 with the win and scattered eight hits in 5.2 innings. He allowed two runs with three walks and a strikeout. Appel threw 3.1 innings of hitless relief with six strikeouts and just two walks.
Dewaine went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run, while Debrosse added two hits and a run. Stephens and Loda each added an RBI, while Matthews had two runs scored. CCSU banged out seven hits as a team.
Pecora had two hits and an RBI to lead Wagner. Eric Ligda took the loss, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings, while striking out seven.
The teams will close the series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12:00 p.m.