The Central Connecticut baseball team swept a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday at CCSU Baseball Field. CCSU won the first game 8-4, and rallied for an 8-5 win in the second game. The wins improve Central to 24-19 overall and 14-7 in the NEC and clinched a berth in the league tournament.
Central travels to LIU Brooklyn for a three-game series to close the regular season beginning Thursday.
GAME 1: CCSU 8, FDU 4
The Blue Devils scored five runs in the first two innings and junior Brandon Fox allowed just one run in six innings of work to earn the win in the day's first game.
CCSU scored three runs with two outs in the first inning. Sophomore TT Bowens doubled before scoring on a single by junior Dave Matthews. Junior Buddy Dewaine would follow with a single and sophomore Jake Siracusa tripled to right-center to drive in two runs and make it 3-0.
FDU scored an unearned run in the top of the third, but the Blue Devils responded with a run in the bottom of the inning. Siracusa would double home Dewaine to make it 6-1.
A solo homerun by Bowens in the sixth pushed the CCSU lead to 7-1.
Fairleigh Dickinson would score a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth inning to make it 7-4. CCSU would work its way out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth with an inning-ending strikeout.
Junior Chandler Debrosse led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo homerun to right field to make it 8-4.
Fox scattered seven hits over 6.0 innings and allowed just one unearned run. He walked one and struck out two. Senior Jared Gallagher came on with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning. He struck out three batters across the last 1.2 innings to pick up his sixth save of the year.
Central banged out 14 hits in the game. Bowens and Siracusa each collected three hits. Bowens drove in a run and scored two more, while Siracusa drove in two runs.
GAME 2: CCSU 8, FDU 5
Central rallied with three runs in the seventh inning to win its ninth straight conference game.
The Knights opened the scoring in the second inning on a two-run homerun by Tom Ruscitti.
CCSU came back with a three-run fourth inning to take the lead. Matthews singled home Bowens, who led off the inning with a triple, to make it 2-1. Two batters later sophomore Peyton Stephens hit a two-run homerun to give CCSU a 3-2 lead.
After Bobby Romano hit a three-run homerun in the sixth to give FDU a 5-3 lead, the Blue Devils would get a run in the bottom of the inning. Dolaghan hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Matthews and make it a one-run game.
Central would plate three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead. Siracusa and Bowens hit back-to-back singles to score runs and Matthews would follow with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-5.
Dolaghan tripled to lead off the eighth and would score on a sacrifice fly from Bertochi to make it 8-5. Gallagher would close the game out with a perfect ninth inning to clinch the CCSU win.
Matthews went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the win. Stephens added two hits and two RBIs as CCSU collected 13 hits in the game.
Senior Patrick Mitchell started and went 5.2 innings. He did not figure in the decision, but struck out five batters. Sophomore Matt Shane pitched 1.2 shutout innings and got the win. Gallagher got his second save of the day, pitching a perfect ninth inning.