The Central Connecticut baseball team dropped into the loser's bracket of the 2011 Northeast Conference Tournament after a 2-1 loss to top seed Monmouth on Friday afternoon. Central held a 1-0 lead until the eighth inning when the Hawks scored both of their runs. The Blue Devils will play Long Island in the first elimination game at 12 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in Norwich, CT.
With the loss the Blue Devils are now 25-24-1 on the season.
Monmouth improves to 35-17 with the victory and advances to the
winner's bracket on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Monmouth loaded the bases in the first inning with a pair of hits and an error. An inning-ending double play ended the threat.
Central turned three double plays in the first three innings to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard. Monmouth had four hits in the first three innings.
Central freshman Dylan DelaCruz singled with one out in the fourth inning to give Central its first base runner. He went to second on a ground out and then scored on an RBI single to center field from senior Pat Epps.
The Hawks tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI single from senior Ryan Terry. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Nick Pulsonetti gave Monmouth the 2-1 lead.
Central sophomore starter Nick Neumann pitched 7.1 innings allowing seven hits and two runs in picking up the loss. He is now 5-3 on the season. He struck out one and walked three. All three walks came in the eighth inning and two of those runners scored.
The Blue Devils will play either Long Island at noon on Saturday in the first elimination game of the tournament.