NEW BRITAIN, CT - After opening up Little East Conference play with a doubleheader split against Plymouth State on Saturday, the Western Connecticut baseball squad dropped both games of a twinbill against league foe Southern Maine on Sunday afternoon at Central Connecticut State University. Senior catcher Bryan Harper (Ledyard, CT) paced the Colonials with a pair of hits in the Game One loss, 16-2. In Game Two, senior outfielder Tre' Gause (Brookfield, CT) notched a 3-for-3 performance to lead WestConn as their rally came up short, falling 9-6.
The Huskies flew out of the gates to capture a 9-0 lead en route to finishing with 27 hits for the game. Trailing 11-0, the Colonials broke up the shutout in the bottom of the third. Junior second baseman Stanley Rijo (Torrington, CT) smacked an RBI single to left field, scoring Harper - who led off the frame with a single to right. Senior shortstop EJ Lavoie (East Granby, CT) reached on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded, moments later, scoring senior Dave Palladino (Southington, CT), who singled earlier to get on base.
However, that was as close as the Colonials would get in the opener. Southern Maine added a trio of runs in the fourth, one in the sixth, followed by another in the seventh to round the scoring out at 16-2.
The Huskies picked up right where they left off in the nightcap. They rang up five runs in the third and added another in the fifth to hold a 6-0 lead heading into the bottom half of the frame.
WestConn answered with five runs, cutting the lead to 6-5. Junior Joe Daigle (Southington, CT) began the scoring, lining a double down the left field line to send home Gause, who reached on a single to left center. Senior first baseman Frank Vartuli (Westport, CT) then knocked a single to left, scoring Daigle and senior outfielder Clete LoRusso (New Milford, CT), who drew a walk earlier. After a single from junior Zach Sagar (Trumbull, CT), rookie Zach Piroh (Stratford, CT) doubled down the right field line to score Vartuli and Sagar, wrapping up the five-run outburst.
The Huskies tallied an unearned run in the seventh to go up 7-5. The Colonials answered with a run in the eighth when Lavoie earned an RBI, scoring Gause, who led off the frame with a single through the left side of the infield to make it 7-6.
However, Devin Warren smashed a two-run homer down the left field line in top of the ninth to seal the victory for the Huskies. With the pair of defeats, WestConn dropped to 10-10 overall and 1-3 in conference play, while Southern Maine improved to 13-7 and 4-0.
The Colonials return to action at non-league for Purchase State on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.