Westfield, MA- MCLA senior Eamonn Andre tossed 5.2 innings of one hit ball out of the bullpen to spur on the MCLA baseball team to a 7-3 win in the nightcap of a doubleheader over Westfield State. The Owls took game one in convincing fashion 9-1.
The split was key for MCLA as they improve to 12-13 overall and is now 6-6 in the MASCAC. The Owls (24-6, 10-2), by virtue of their opening game triumph, earned the MASCAC regular season title.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning and the Owls eventually took the lead and chased Trailblazer starter Schuyler Robinson in the second inning prompting Andre into the game. Andre entered with the bases loaded and just one out trailing 2-1. He induced a popup and a fly out to limit the damage and MCLA trailed 2-1 after two innings of play.
The Owls would tack on an unearned run in the third inning to expand the lead to 3-1, but Andre then bore down and kept the Owl hitters in check. MCLA got a run back in the fourth inning to creep within 3-2. Myles Candelet had an RBI groundout scoring Brett LaBonte who singled leading off.
The Trailblazers would take the lead from there in the fifth scoring three times. Bill Pulasky had a sacrifice fly and RBI singles off the bats of LaBonte and Dimassimo made it 5-3 in favor of MCLA. While Andre was cruising, MCLA tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth to salt it away. Candelet scored on a wild pitch while another scored on an error making it 7-3.
The rest was up to Andre. The senior right hander faced just 20 batters in his 5.2 innings of work. He retired the last nine Owls in order as he earned his second win of 2017.
MCLA outhit the Owls 10-3 in the nightcap as LaBonte was 3-4 with 2 RBI and Seariac and Jonathon Parker each had two hits.
Owl starter Nick Cunningham was saddled with the loss going the first five innings and allowing five runs, but just three earned.
Westfield starter Nate Barnes tossed a complete game for the Owls allowing just 7 hits and a lone run to improve to 3-2. The Owls used a nine run third inning to seize control of this one.
Trailblazer starter Brendan Kelly worked around trouble in the first two innings, but eventually his inability to find the strike zone caught up to him. In the third, the Owls scored nine times on just two hits, however they were aided by six walks and two hit batters as they sent 13 hitters to the plate.
Dan Rokitowski drew a walk to score the first run and then John Lippincott roped a two run single making it 3-0 which signaled a pitching change for MCLA. Schamal Forbes entered and walked three straight batters and then gave up an RBI single to Tyler Beach. Anthony Crowley added another single before MCLA went to Andre out of the bullpen and he eventually put out the fire, but the damage was done as Westfield led 9-0.
From there, Barnes took over. The lefty worked around trouble and gave up a run in the fourth, but cruised from there. He retired the final nine batters to record the easy win and clinch the league title for the Owls.
Kelly took the loss for MCLA.
The Trailblazers actually outhit Westfield 7-4, but ultimately the wildness allowed the Owls to cruise.
MCLA is off until Thursday when they take on Elms College at 7pm at McKenzie Stadium.