Falcons Earn MASCAC Split with MCLA

Falcons Earn MASCAC Split with MCLA

FITCHBURG, Mass. --- Fitchburg State University rode a strong pitching performance from senior right-hander Tyler Smith to win game one, 8-2, before dropping the nightcap of the doubleheader, 14-12, earning a Massachusetts State Athletic Collegiate Conference (MASCAC) baseball split with visiting MCLA on Friday afternoon at Riccards Field.   

 Game One, 8-2

Tyler Smith was stellar on the mound, allowing two earned runs, scattering six hits with a strikeout and a pair of walks over seven complete innings to even his 2017 record at 4-4. His opponent on the hill, Liam Nola, allowed ten hits and eight earned runs while striking out six in the loss.

Fitchburg State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as sophomore Noah Milliard got on base with a double down the right field line before being moving to third on a wild pitch and crossing the plate on a balk called against the MCLA hurler.

FSU extended the lead to 4-0 in the home half of the 3rd inning when they plated 3 runs on four hits. Lead-off man Nathan Littman singled to center field and scored on an RBI single from junior Sean Maki, after Andrew Mooney reached on a bunt single to place runners at the corners. Mooney would come around and score on Brennan Cuddahy's sacrifice fly followed by a Mike St. John single to centerfield to score Maki with the third run of the inning.

MCLA would cut the deficit in half (4-2) in the top half of the fourth inning receiving an RBI hit from  Logan Rumbolt and a ground out RBI off the bat of Christian Seariac.

The Falcons added four insurance runs in the home-half of the sixth inning with four consecutive RBI singles from Milliard, Brandon Lefebvre, Drew Mazzeo and Joshua Macomber for the 8-2 final.
Mooney led the offense in game one going 2-for4 at the plate with a run while Milliard finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs for Fitchburg State.
Game Two, 14-12 – Six innings

Sean Maki led the Falcons offense in game two going 3-for-5 with a home run, double and single, three RBI and two runs scored in a shortened six inning 14-12 loss, called early due to darkness.

After spotting the Trailblazer a 2-0 lead, the Falcons plated 6 runs in the bottom of the first frame.

With runners on first and second, Maki opened his three-hit game with a double to center field scoring Littman and Mooney. With two outs Milliard delivered a double to center field scoring Maki and crossed the plate himself when the next batter Lefebvre rifled a single to left field. Lefebvre, playing heads-up baseball, stole third on a walk to Mazzeo and scored on a high throw from the MCLA catcher. Littman rounded out the scoring with his second single of the inning, delivering Mazzeo home.

MCLA would tie the game with four runs in the top of the second, however the Falcons would add two runs in the bottom of the second and a single-run in the third to hold a 9-6 lead after three complete.

The visitors upped the ante in the next inning as Myles Candelet drove in a pair with a single to right field in the fourth. Next MCLA scored on a fielder's choice and Schamel Fordbes poked a RBI single to center field to give the visitors a 10-9 lead.

FSU notched the score at 10-10 when Mazzeo laced a triple to right center field to score Lefebvre, who had singled to right center with two-outs.

MCLA quickly responded in the top of the fifth inning. With two-outs Candelet again poked a 2-

RBI single and scored on Antonio Archina's double. Archina crossed home when Andre Casteel singled to left field to give the Trailblazers a 14-10 lead.

In the fifth, Fitchburg State scored in its fifth straight inning as St. John reached base safely on a throwing error from the MCLA third baseman, scoring Mooney who had reached base via the hit-by-pitch. Next Cuddahy scored on Milliard's double to center field to cut the advantage to 14-12.

In the sixth, neither team could manufacture runs, for the first time in the game. Just after 7:00 PM the game was called complete due to darkness.

MCLA's Bobby New earned his third win of the season with 2.2 innings pitched, scattering four runs on five hits with a pair of walks. Sophomore Andrew Dunn took the loss for the Falcons giving up four runs on three hits and two walks

Fitchburg State (9-16, 2-4 MASCAC) will travel to Bridgewater State for a conference doubleheader on the road on Monday April 17th beginning at 12:00 P.M. MCLA (8-10, 2-4 MASCAC) will host Mass. Maritime on the same day or a conference doubleheader starting at 1:00 P.M.