FT. PIERCE, FL – After leading in each game, the Western Connecticut State University baseball team succumbed to a pair of rallies from Washington College in a doubleheader to open up the Spring Trip on Sunday. The Colonials led 1-0 late in the opener before the Shoremen scored runs in the sixth and seventh innings to earn a 2-1 win. In Game Two, WestConn was up 4-2 early before Washington rallied yet again to seize a 5-4 victory.
Junior starting pitcher George Bielizna (Danbury, CT) went the distance, tossing 6.1 strong innings, while striking out three and allowing just five hits and two runs for the Colonials. He took the tough luck loss and fell to 1-1 overall. Washington starter P.J. Mikulus was equally impressive, going 6.2 innings and allowing five hits and one unearned run.
Second baseman Stanley Rijo (Torrington, CT) got WestConn on the board in the top of the fifth when he roped a double to left field, scoring junior Adam Wilson (Southington, CT) who reached on an error to lead off the frame.
The Shoremen answered in the bottom of the sixth when Luke D'Ostilio doubled to right, pushing Chris Kramedas across the plate after he was hit by a pitch, knotting the score at 1-1.
Washington put runners on the corners in the bottom of the seventh. The Colonials intentionally walked a batter to load the bases in an effort to halt the surge. However, Ryan Donnelly flied out to center for the sacrifice fly game-winning run.
WestConn jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first frame. After singles from senior Bill Buscetto, Jr. (Old Lyme, CT) and sophomore outfielder Brett Shaw (Southington, CT), junior catcher Zach Sagar (Trumbull, CT) smashed an RBI double to left before sophomore Zach Piroh (Stratford, CT) tallied another RBI with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Shoremen responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third to even the count at 2-2. WestConn quickly countered in the bottom half of the frame to regain a 4-2 lead. Sophomore first baseman Matt Mancini (Waterbury, CT) singled to right, scoring Shaw – who reached on a base hit – and Sagar – who earlier smacked his second double of the game.
Washington cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fourth before completing the comeback with a pair of runs in the sixth to earn the sweep.
"Despite the losses, it was a solid first day. Bielizna threw a great game one to get the tough luck loss. We had some hits but not in bunches for runs," said Colonial head coach John Susi following the action.
With the pair of defeats, the Colonials dropped to 2-3 overall while the Shoremen improved to 7-2. WestConn continues the Florida trip with a twin bill against Gettysburg beginning Monday at 12:30 p.m.