FT. MYERS, FL - After splitting games against Carroll and St. Joseph's (LI) on Saturday, the WestConn baseball team split yet another doubleheader on Sunday against Colby College. In Game One, the Colonials were edged, 9-8, before rebounding to take Game Two, 5-3. WestConn concludes the Spring Trip in Florida against St. Lawrence on Monday at 9 a.m.
GAME ONE (Box Score Coming Soon...)
Senior first baseman Frank Vartuli (Westport, CT) paced the Colonials with a 2-for-3 showing from the plate that included a three-run blast in the second inning. Senior Tre' Gause (Brookfield, CT), juniors Clete LoRusso (New Milford, CT), Stanly Rijo (Torrington, CT), and sophomore Kyle Maclean (Southington, CT) also each chipped in with two hits apiece.
"Frank Vartuli should buy a house down here and stay. He is zoned in and having a great trip," said WestConn head coach John Susi after Sunday's action.
The Colonials bombarded the Mules to pull ahead 6-0, capped by Vartuli's fourth shot of the season. However, after slicing the advantage to 6-2, Colby exploded for seven runs in the fifth to take a 9-6 lead. WestConn battled back in the sixth. Sophomore George Bielizna (Danbury, CT) entered the game to pinch hit and belted a two-run homer, scoring Gause - who led the inning off with a single. With the deficit now shortened to 9-8, the Colonials loaded the bases. However, the rally was halted on a fielder's choice out. WestConn could not put together another threat in the seventh.
Rookie third baseman Zach Piroh (Stratford, CT) went 2-for-2 with three RBI's which included a solo homer in the fifth to lead the charge for the Colonials. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Erik Nicholson (Old Lyme, CT) tossed 5.1 innings, allowing just one earned run, while striking out six to notch the decision for WestConn.
The Colonials racked up four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Piroh smacked a one-out single, scoring rookie first baseman Matt Mancini (Waterbury, CT) - who reached on a walk - and junior catcher Zach Sagar (Trumbull, CT) - who singled to lead off the frame. Moments later, senior second baseman Joe Costa (Hopewell Junction, NY) ripped a double sending home Piroh and senior outfielder Dave Palladino (Southington, CT) - who earned a walk, giving WestConn a 4-0 lead.
The Colonials held a 5-0 lead before surrendering a pair of runs in the sixth. However, sophomore right-handed flamethrower Taylor Donofrio (Terryville, CT) entered for the seventh and struck out the final batter, earning his third save of the season.