May 7, 2014



Mansfield, Conn.- Sophomore right fielder Matt Foley (Seekonk, MA) went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored as sixth-seeded Rhode Island College fell to top-seeded Eastern Connecticut, 9-5, in game one of the 2014 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament, played at Eastern Connecticut State University, on Wednesday morning. 


RIC (12-22) returns to action on Thursday morning (11 a.m.) in an elimination game against the loser of second-seeded Southern Maine vs. fifth-seeded Plymouth State (2:30 p.m.). Meanwhile, Eastern Connecticut (29-7) will host the loser of third-seeded UMass Dartmouth vs. fourth-seeded UMass Boston (6 p.m.) on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.


Rhode Island College scratched the first run of the game in the top of the first inning, as Foley’s RBI single up the middle plated senior center fielder Justin Costa (Cranston, RI), who had reached on a lead-off single to open the action.



 Sophomore right fielder Matt Foley


The Warriors responded in the bottom half of the frame with a pair of runs, as the hosts ripped four straight singles to open the inning and quickly made it a 2-1 game. Eastern followed with four more runs in the bottom of the second, spearheaded by junior second baseman Corey Keane’s (Tolland, CT) two-run single that plated both senior third baseman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott, CT) and junior center fielder Joe Perez (North Branford, CT). Senior shortstop Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield, CT) and senior first baseman Gavin Lavallee (New Milford, CT) each drove in runs later in the frame for the Warriors to make it, 6-1.


The hosts added another run in the third to take a six-run lead over the Anchormen, as Perez came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Lynch, his third RBI of the day.


After being held off the scoreboard for three consecutive frames, RIC’s offense came alive in the top of the fifth. Freshman catcher Tyler Rains (North Kingstown, RI) led off the inning with a single to right field and quickly advanced to second on a single by sophomore shortstop Gian Abbruzzese (North Providence, RI). Following a fielder’s choice that pushed Rains to third, Foley stepped in and belted a two-out single to left-center field that plated Rains and cut the deficit to five, 7-2.


RIC added another run in the top of the sixth after freshman third baseman Sean Getman (Oneonta, NY) made it to second base on an error to open the inning and eventually moved to third following a ground out to the right side. Getman crossed the plate moments later on an RBI ground out from Rains, making it, 7-3, with three innings left to play.


After opening the frame with back-to-back singles, Eastern scratched another run in the bottom of the sixth when Lynch scored from third on an Anchorman error. Senior designated hitter Adam Roderick (West Hartford, CT) scored the second run of the stanza after he was driven home on junior right fielder Kyle Hart’s (Guilford, CT) single through the left side.


The Anchormen trimmed the margin down to just four after they made it, 9-5, in the top of the seventh inning. Costa sparked the rally with a lead-off single and advanced to second after Foley reached on an Eastern error. After both Costa and Foley moved into scoring position on a balk, both runners came around to score thanks to junior left fielder Tyler Santaniello’s (Cumberland, RI) two-out, two-run single.


However, the Warriors bullpen, led by junior left-hander Matt D’Orsi (West Hartford, CT) and sophomore right-hander Adam Merritt (Seymour, CT), kept Rhode Island College off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. The tandem combined to concede just one walk over the final two innings of the ballgame, en route to the four-run victory.


Sophomore right-hander Patrick O’Neill (Thomaston, CT) picked up the win (5-0) for Eastern Connecticut after scattering three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk in six innings of work.


Senior left-hander C.J. Tsoumakas (Hope, RI) made the start for the Anchormen, but was tagged with the loss (5-5). Junior right-hander Dylan Cummiskey (Warwick, RI) entered the game in the third inning and was solid in relief for RIC, as he allowed just three runs (two earned) on nine hits over the course of six innings.


Costa helped pace the Anchormen offensively with a 2-for-5 performance at the dish that included two runs scored and a stolen base. Rains went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Santaniello went 1-for-3 with two RBI.


Vaccarelli went 5-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, while Lynch went 3-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. Keane added a 3-for-5 performance at the dish to go along with two RBI and two runs scored.