Falcons honor six seniors playing in their final regular season this afternoon
FITCHBURG, Mass. - The Fitchburg State University baseball team spilt with the Owls of Westfield State University to hand the Owls its first Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) loss of the season in MASCAC baseball action this afternoon at Riccards Field.
The Falcons earned a come from behind 7-6 victory with freshman Joshua Macomber driving home classmate Brandon Lefebvre to complete a three-run comeback. In game two, Westfield State was powered toward a shutout on the right arm of senior Matt Nunes, bettering his season record to 5-1.
Fitchburg State 7, Westfield State 6 (8 inn) (Gm 1)
Macomber's heroics in the bottom of the eighth served as the walk-off winner - the first for the Falcons in 2017 - but the comeback was a product of timely hitting.
At the end of three innings, Fitchburg State faced a 4-1 deficit as the Owls enjoyed two-run innings in the first and third frames.
After a one-two-three inning from senior Tyler Smith, the Fitchburg State offense built the foundation for a comeback as Macomber brought in senior Mike St. John from third on a double to left to cut the lead to 4-2.
Westfield State responded in the top of the sixth when third baseman Tyler Beach laced a two-run double to deep left field, pushing the lead up to 6-3. Fitchburg State battled back however in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Brennan Cuddahy blasted his third home run of the season, over the right field (6-4).
Trailing 6-4 in the seventh, Macomber reached on a dropped third strike, moved to second on a. Littman single to left before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from junior Andrew Mooney to put runners on second and third. Maki followed with a two-run double into left center that allowed Macomber and Littman to score, knotting the game at 6-6)..
After a scoreless top of the eighth, Fitchburg State's offense kept rolling as Lefebvre led the home half with a double to get into scoring position. With Lefebvre at third, Macomber put the finishing touches on the comeback, lacing a base hit to left to plate Lefebvre, resulting in the 7-6 victory in walk-off fashion.
Smith received a no-decision tossing six innings and scattering nine hits while surrendering six earned runs. Lessard and senior Benjamin Chiasson combined for two innings of scoreless relief; with Chiasson picking up his third win on the year for the Falcons.
Lefebvre and Macomber paced the Falcons offensive, picking up three-hit each and accounting for five runs. Four members of the starting lineup finished with multi-hit games.
Westfield State 7, Fitchburg State 0 (Gm 2)
Fitchburg State met a buzz saw in Westfield State righty Nunes, who silenced the bats from game one and punched in his fourth complete game, and second shutout of the season during the 7-0 final.
Nunes finished the game with four strikeouts, two walks, and gave up only four hits en route to his fifth win of the season.
Westfield State got on the board in the top of the first as designated hitter Alex Lafayette brought home Dan Rokitowski on a single to left. The Owls doubled their lead later in the frame when sophomore Alex Benevides worked a bases-loaded walk to score John Lippincott.
The Owls widened their lead in the third when they plated four runs, all with two-outs in the inning. It was highlighted by three consecutive run scoring at-bats as Anthony Crowley drove home Benevides with a sacrifice fly followed by consecutive singles by Colin Dunn and Dan Rokitowski to increase the lead to 7-0.
On the other side, Nunes had his pitches working out of the bullpen gates. After three innings, he had not allowed a base hit. The Falcons got to Nunes for a base knock in the fourth as Noah Milliard laced a single to right field.
The Green & Gold got runners aboard in each of the final two innings, but were unable to get past first base. In the seventh Milliard picked up his second hit of the game off Nunes, but a couple batters later, the game ended on a double-play to give the Owls the 7-0 victory in game two.
Senior Donnell Hightower came on in the fourth to stop the bleeding, and logged a team-high three innings with three strikeout,s while surrendering just one hit. Cuddahy tossed a scoreless top of the seventh in his pitching debut.
This afternoon was senior day at Riccards Field and the Fitchburg State University baseball team honored six seniors playing in their final regular season for the Green and Gold. The seniors are #16 Nathan Littman, #20 Sam Brown, #23 Tyler Smith, #27 Mike St. John, #29 Tom Gammell and #33 Donnell Hightower.
Fitchburg State (12-17, 5-5 MASCAC) return to Riccards Field on April 24th when they host rival Worcester State University for a doubleheader starting at 2:00 P.M. Westfield State (22-5, 8-1 MASCAC) host Anna Maria College on the same day at 3:30 P.M.
Release courtesy of Fitchburg State student journalist Kyle Prudhomme