SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Fitchburg State scored five runs in the seventh inning to rally past Westfield State, 7-5, and spoil the Owls' senior day in a game played at Archie Allen Field at Springfield College on Monday afternoon.
Fitchburg improves to 23-14 on the season and finishes 13-8 and clinched the #2 seed in the upcoming MASCAC tournament with the win. Westfield, which had already clinched the outright regular-season MASCAC title on Saturday, slips to 24-13 and finishes 14-7 atop the MASCAC standings.
The Falcons got a 2-run single from DH Vincent Eramo in the seventh to provide the game winning runs, as Fitchburg had entered the inning trailing 5-2.
Reliever Shaun Gamelin (2-3), the fourth of six Falcons pitchers used picked up the win, with ace Ryan Towle coming on to strike out the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
The game was not artistically played, as the Falcon pitchers issued a dozen walks, but were effectively wild in limiting the Owls to five runs on eight hits, as Westfield stranded 15 runners in the game.
Westfield's Troy Saulnier (0-2) took the loss, the fifth of eight Westfield pitchers. The Owls yielded eight walks of their own and just six hits to the Falcons.
The Owls recognized a nine-man senior class which has won three straight MASCAC regular season titles, one tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. Among the seniors, slugger Anthony Crowley was walked four times, including an intentional free pass, before rapping a bad-ball single in the ninth to reach base five times on the day. Jared Ferrarri drove in a pair of runs with a single and scored another run. That group was recognized in a pre-game ceremony, along with Owls' starter Jamie Butler, who did double duty as the DH, shortstop Colin Dunn, first baseman Aaron Clancy, second baseman Tyler Beach, reliever Scott Strachan and starter John Gegetskas, who was idle today as the presumed starter for Westfield's playoff opener on Thursday.
Fitchburg was led by two hits and two rbi from catcher Matthew Pignatore, and two hits from shortstop Brandon Lefebvre.
Westfield is schedule to be the MASCAC tournament hosts, and will host a pair of first round games on Thursday, with #4 Bridgewater and #5 Salem playing at Bud and Jim Hagan field at 11 a.m., with the winner meeting the Owls in a 3:00 p.m. tilt.
Fitchburg will be the other first round host site, with the Falcons hosting the #3 Framingham vs #6 Worcester opener at 11 am, followed by the winner meeting the #2 Falcons at 3:00 p.m.