Falcons clipped 7-5 in opener; Edged 6-5 in eight innings in nightcap
SALEM, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University Baseball team dropped a pair of games to the Vikings of Salem State University this afternoon in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this afternoon at the Central Campus Baseball Field.
Salem State held off Fitchburg State 7-5 in game one as Joe Kasper led the Vikings with a 3-for-3 day with two doubles and three RBI's. Madoc Fisher's one-out single drove in Alex Toomey and Fisher came all the way around to score on a throwing miscue as the Vikings took game two, 6-5 in extra innings. Salem State goes to 21-17 and 10-4 in the MASCAC while the Falcons slip to 14-19-1, and 7-7 in conference.
Salem State 7, Fitchburg State 5 (Game 1)
Salem State starter Will Twiss surrendered two runs in the top of the first as he gave up three consecutive base hits to start the game. After a base hit, Nathan Littman put himself into scoring position by stealing second. Andrew Mooney then drove in Littman with a double to the right-center field gap.
Sean Maki kept the hit parade rolling as he singled to left to push Mooney over to third. Twiss benefited from his defense as left fielder Joe White laid out for a sliding grab to deny Brennan Cuddahy of an RBI. However, Noah Milliard would drive in Mooney with a sacrifice line drive to put Fitchburg State ahead 2-0.
Tyler Smith cruised through the Salem State lineup in the first two innings as he allowed only one hit through the first seven batters. However, the Vikings bats were awoken in the third as they gathered three runs on five hits, including a two-run double from Kasper that scored Teghan Malionek and Brendan Greene. White gave Salem State their first lead of the afternoon two batters later when he drove in Kasper with a single to right field.
Twiss settled in, as he had a quick fourth inning seeing only four batters. Twiss received additional run support in the fourth inning as the hot bat of Kasper drove in another run on his third hit of the game. Meanwhile, Twiss cruised through the fifth inning as he retired the side in order. The offense continued to roll in the bottom of the fifth as they added two runs to their lead from Andrew Deloury and Jose Cedano for a Vikings' 6-2 advantage.
Twiss and the defense gave two runs back to the Falcons in the top of the sixth inning after an error and a walk to Millard. With two outs, Mike St. John drove in two runs with a bases clearing triple to right field. However, Twiss got Brandon Lefebvre to ground out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning, Salem State tacked on an insurance run as Tyler Galimi came in to pinch run for Kasper who was walked. Galimi was able to reach second after a failed pick-off attempt. White then drove in Galimi with a ground-rule double to left field to give Salem State a 7-4 edge.
Twiss came out to face the Falcons in the final inning to get the complete game, but was relieved for the final out after giving up a run off a Maki single that scored Joshua Macomber, resulting in the 7=5 game one final.
Twiss (4-1) went 6.2 innings where he gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits to pick up the win for Salem State, while Smith went five innings, giving up six runs on 11 hits for the Falcons in the setback.
Salem State 6, Fitchburg State 5 (8 inn.) (Game 2)
In game two, the Falcons and Vikings each plated a run in the second inning. Cooper Bigelow scored the first run of the game with an RBI single to put Fitchburg State up 1-0, but Colton Fontaine tied the game for the Vikings (1-1) with a ground out. Kasper then put the Vikings on top with a two-run home run in the third that scored Zac Duval to make the score 3-1.
Fitchburg State got one back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Bigelow and took the lead with two runs in the fifth. Cuddahy singled off starter Stephen Keskinidis for the first run, tying the game at 3-3, before Milliard added a run-scoring single to left off reliever Woods for the 4-3 edge.
With the score 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh, Salem State forced extra innings as Joe Csokmay tripled to lead off the frame before Greene followed with a game-tying single (4-4). A White base hit and another out put runners on the corners for Salem State, but Falcon reliever Benjamin Chiasson ended the threat, getting Cedano to fly out.
Bigelow led off the eighth inning with a triple for Fitchburg State, Macomber then singled to score Bigelow with the go-ahead run as the Falcons regained the lead, 5-4.
Salem State responded with a pair of run in their half of the eighth as Fontaine opened the stanza with a single. With one out, Fisher laced a single down the left line that plated Toomey, who reached on a fielder's choice before Fisher eventually crossed the plate with the winning run, following a throwing miscue, resulting in the 6-5 game two final.
Woods picked up the win for the Vikings with 3.2 innings of work, allowing one run on six hits with seven strikeouts. Chiasson took the loss for Fitchburg State, going 1.1 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) one five hits.
Both teams will prepare for next week's MASCAC Tournament with pairings still yet to be determined. Salem State has earned the No. 2 seed and will play a second round game at home next Friday. The Vikings will travel to Babson for a non-conference matchup on Tuesday.
Release courtesy of Salem State SID office