St. John registers two hits for Falcons in non-conference setback
NORTHBORO, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University baseball team dropped a tough 6-5 decision to the Engineers of WPI in non-conference action this afternoon at the New England Baseball Complex.
Fitchburg State grabbed the lead in the top of the third as senior Nathan Littman walked, moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt and a walk before crossing the plate on a single by classmate Mike St. John for the 1-0 advantage.
The Falcons double their margin (2-0) in the top of the fifth when Littman drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on failed pickoff attempt before coming around to score on base hit to right off the bat of sophomore Brennan Cuddahy.
WPI took the lead in the bottom half of the fifth, scoring five runs on four hits as sophomore Ryan Tropeano doubled home senior Connor Kurtz, while junior Matt Howard drove in sophomore Steven Gallagher and senior Nick Comei with two-run single to right to make the score 5-2.
The Green and Gold knotted the score (5-5) in the top of the sixth when St. John scored on a throwing miscue, while freshman Timothy Horton brought home classmate Brandon Lefebvre following a fielder's choice.
WPI broke the 5-5 stalemate in the bottom of the ninth as Gallagher, Howard and freshman David Larson all walked to load the bases before sophomore Austin Lindner was hit by a pitch with two outs in the frame to bring home Gallagher, resulting in the 6-5 final.
The Falcons offense was paced by St. John, who finished 2-for-3 with one run scored and an RBI, while Cuddahy posted one hit and an RBI for the visitors. For the Engineers, Howard hit 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Tropeano chipped in with a pair of hits, including a double, one run batted in and a run scored.
On the hill, freshman Kyle Nocera got the start of Fitchburg State, allowing five runs (3 earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts in four innings of work in a no decision, while WPI use ten different pitchers , who combined to give up five runs (one earned) on three hits with nine K's.
Fitchburg State (6-11, 0-0) returns to action on Sunday as it hosts the Rams of Framingham State for double header at a location yet to be determined for a 1 p.m. start. WPI (13-5, 2-1 NEWMAC) will travel to Babson on Saturday for a twin billing starting at 12 p.m.