FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Framingham State University baseball team received strong pitching performances from senior Matt DiCato (Winthrop, Mass.) and freshman Mike Andrews (Stoneham, Mass.) as the Rams defeated Fitchburg State 2-1 in eight innings and 3-2 to sweep a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader this afternoon at Bowditch Field.
With the pair of wins, the Rams improve to 10-8 on the year and are now 3-1 in the MASCAC, while the Falcons fall to 13-8 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
DiCato and Fitchburg State freshman Kyle Cutler (Clinton, Mass.) were locked in a pitcher’s duel in the opener as both surrendered just one run apiece through the first seven innings and scattered a combined 10 hits. DiCato went 7+ innings allowing an unearned run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Cutler was ultimately tagged with the loss when the Rams walked off with the victory in the bottom of the eighth inning but he went 7.1 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on eight hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Fitchburg State got on the board first grabbing 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Freshman Steven Drury, Jr. reached on a dropped third strike with one out and then stole second. After DiCato recorded another strikeout, Drury came around to score on an RBI double by junior Pierce Hans (Washington Touwnship, N.J.) to deep right field.
The Rams tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single to left off the bat of junior Kevin Driscoll (Chelmsford, Mass.) that plated sophomore R.J. Gray (Lowell, Mass.), who had reached on an error to start the frame.
The Falcons threatened in the top of the eighth with runners on first and third and no outs driving DiCato from the game. They loaded the bases a batter later on an error in the Rams infield. Junior Clayton Beaulieu (Chicopee, Mass.) followed with a shot to right field that was snagged by Gray and Gray quickly doubled up the runner on second base who was nearly all the way to third when the ball was caught. After a walk, freshman reliever Manny Powers (Malden, Mass.) was able to induce a long fly ball to center that ended the threat.
Junior Ivan Colon (Waltham, Mass.) led off the Rams half of the eighth with an unconventional hit as the ball struck the pitching rubber and deflected into the air for the leadoff single. After Driscoll reached on a fielder’s choice, senior Billy Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass.) hit a long fly ball down the right field line that was foul by inches. Derosier eventually reached on a single and Powers followed with a game winning base hit up the middle.
Powers earned the game one victory tossing an inning of scoreless relief while also picking up a pair of hits including the game-winner.
The Falcons got on the board in the top of the first of game two on an RBI triple to deep center by Drury that scored Beaulieu who had singled to lead off the game. Drury scored on an RBI groundout by senior David Mason (Leominster, Mass.).
The Rams cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third when Powers walked and stole second before coming home on an RBI single by senior Matt Roberge (Lowell, Mass.).
The Rams took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Derosier scored on a double play ball in the infield after reaching on a ground rule double to right. Junior John Gill (Hudson, Mass.) singled, stole second and came around to score on an RBI hit up the middle off the bat of junior Mark Mainini (Hull, Mass.).
After allowing two runs on two hits in the top of the first inning, Andrews settled in and allowed just two hits over the final six innings with only one Falcon base runner advancing past second. Andrews improved his season record to 4-0 as he tossed his second complete game allowing two earned runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Junior Ryan Magni (W. Springfield, Mass.) was tagged with the loss in game two going six innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Rams are back in action on Sunday afternoon (April 6th, 2014), with a non-conference twinbill at Brandeis slated to begin at 12 p.m.
Thanks to Kathy Lynch, Assistant Director of Athletics/Sports Information at Framingham State University for contributing this story. For more FSU RAMS sports info, box scores, calendar of upcoming games and sporting events, visit their website at: www.fsurams.com