DARTMOUTH, MA – After being postponed on Saturday due to poor weather conditions, the Western Connecticut baseball squad split a doubleheader at Little East Conference foe UMass-Dartmouth on Sunday afternoon. The Colonials pounded out 10 hits en route to an 8-4 win in Game One. In the nightcap, WestConn could not hold on to an early lead as they were downed 5-4.
Junior outfielder Joel Luna (Queens Village, NY) paced the Colonials with three hits and three RBI's, while senior first baseman Frank Vartuli (Westport, CT) chipped in with a pair of hits. Sophomore hurler George Bielizna (Danbury, CT) improved to 3-0, throwing seven strong innings, while striking out seven for WestConn.
The visitors got on the board first when Luna drove in Vartuli, who reached base on a leadoff walk. Luna would eventually come around to score on an error, giving the Colonials an early 3-0 lead.
The Corsairs answered with a pair of runs in the second and another pair in the third to regain a 4-3 lead. However, WestConn would capture the advantage in the sixth with a pair of runs to take a 5-4 lead. Luna drilled an RBI single to right center before junior Joe Daigle (Southington, CT) drew a bases loaded walk.
WestConn would tack onto the lead with another three runs in the seventh en route to the victory. Luna ignited the barrage with an RBI double down the left field line followed by a single to right center from senior Joe Costa (Hopewell Junction, NY) that drove in two runners.
The Colonials erupted to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the second. Costa started the spurt when he knocked a single thru the left side, scoring sophomore Kyle Maclean (Southington, CT) who led off with a single and finished with a game-high three hits.
UMass-Dartmouth answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame before chipping into the lead with another pair of runs in the sixth, slicing it to 4-3.
The Corsairs completed the rally in the bottom of the ninth. They scored the equalizer as they completed on double steal and a run came home on a Colonials' error. Moments later, they scored the game-winning run when Taylor Cacciola hit an RBI single to right center, which sent the second unearned run of the inning home.
"Bielizna had a great effort today in game one. It was heartbreaking losing game two today but we managed to post a solid win against one of the top teams in the conference," said Colonials' head coach John Susi following the action.
With the split, WestConn moved to 13-15 overall and 2-7 in league play, while the Corsairs went to 19-13 and 7-2. The Colonials return to action for yet another LEC matchup when they travel to cross-state rival Eastern Connecticut on Tuesday at 4 p.m.