Westfield, MA- Westfield State got a pair of solid starting pitching performances to post a pair of MASCAC wins over Mass College of Liberal Arts on Wednesday at Bud and Jim Hagan Field. The Owls topped Trailblazers 9-2 in the opener and then held off a a late rally for a 3-1 win in the nightcap. The Owls improve to 14-7 overall and are now 7-2 in the league, just a half game out of first place in the standings. MCLA is 6-17 overall and are still in search of a conference win at 0-8.
Game 1: Westfield 9 - MCLA 2
The Owls took control of this one as they turned a 1-0 second inning deficit into a 4-1 lead and never looked back to cruise to the win. MCLA scored first on Antonio Archina's single to left field brought home Logan Rumbolt off Westfield starter Alex Honey. Honey would avoid further damage and the Owl offense would get to Trailblazer starter Mike Urbanski in the bottom half.
Westfield added five runs in the fourth inning and chased Urbanski in the process. Dunn collected another RBI hit while Nick Martin connected on a two run single to increase the lead to 7-1. Alex Benevides would drive home two more runs to up the margin to 9-1.
Honey kept MCLA in check during his five innings of work to improve to 4-0 on the season. He allowed just four hits and struck out three Trailblazers.
Austin Rachiele had two hits to pace MCLA's offense in the opener.
Game 2: Westfield 3 - MCLA 1
In the nightcap, the Owls continued their offensive surge as they got to MCLA starter Ryan Ruef for two runs in the bottom of the first. Aaron Clancy's two run double gave the hosts an early 2-0 lead. From there, Westfield's Patrick Jordan and Ruef would engage in a pitchers duel.
Neither team would mount much offense against either starter and MCLA finally clawed back with a run in the sixth inning. Ben Durland doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He would come around to score on a balk to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Westfield would add a key insurance tally on Brett Dooley's sac fly in the bottom half off MCLA reliever Tyler Wade to make it 3-1 heading to the seventh.
The Owls summoned ace John Gegetskas out of the bullpen to nail down a save. MCLA had other ideas as Jake Ferraraand Logan Rumbolt led off with singles putting the tying runs on base. Dahndray Sistrunk pinch hit and moved the runners up with a perfect sacrifice bunt and brought Dan Buchanan to the dish. Gegetskas recorded a key strikeout of Buchanan for the second out and then retired Durland on a fly ball to left to preserve the win for the Owls and earn the save.
Jordan (1-1) earned his first win of 2019 going the first six innings and striking out three batters. A transfer from Division I University of Maine, and working his way back into form after elbow issues, Jordan held the Blazers hitless into the fifth inning.. Nick Martin paced the Owl offense with two hits.
MCLA's Ruef went a career high five innings and allowed 6 hits and just two earned runs. Rumbolt collected two hits in the loss.