The Central Connecticut baseball team scored five runs in the sixth inning on their way to a 5-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader vs. LIU Brooklyn on Saturday. They scored two in the fifth inning of game two to claim a 5-4 win and sweep the doubleheader. Freshman lefty Cody Brown moved to 2-1 on the year with the game one victory.
With the wins the Blue Devils are 10-8 overall and 4-3 in Northeast Conference play. LIU is 9-13 and 1-2 in league action.
In game one, both teams struggled to put anything together offensively in the first 5.5 innings. The Blue Devils put a runner on third with two outs in the fifth but were unable to score. LIU Brooklyn had only one runner reach second base in the first six innings.
The Blue Devils changed that in the bottom of the sixth inning. They hadn't registered a hit until sophomore Josh Ingham doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning.
Classmate J.P. Sportman was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second and senior Danny Hickey flied out to center to put runners on first and third. Sportman stole second, and the throw by the catcher was out of the reach of the shortstop. Ingham scored on the throwing error to give Central the 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded sophomore Anthony Turgeon's ground rule double to right scored two more runs. Junior Mike Washburn singled to right field scoring the fourth run, and a squeeze bunt by senior Jake Matuszak scored another and made it 5-0.
Brown moved to 3-1 on the season pitching 6.1 innings and allowing five hits and striking out five LIU batters. With runners on second and third and one out in the seventh, Ingham came in to record the final two outs and secure the victory. Brown's ERA drops to 1.59 on the season after the victory.
The Blue Devils opened the second game with a single run in the first inning. With two outs, back-to-back doubles from Sportman and freshman Dominic Severino gave the Blue Devils the early lead. LIU tied it at 1-1 with a run in the top of the third inning.
The Blue Devils took a 3-1 lead with a pair of unearned runs in the fourth. Severino singled to lead off the inning and scored on the ground out by sophomore Dylan DelaCruz. Hickey, who had reached on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, scored from third on a single off the bat of senior Mitch Wells to make it 3-1.
The Blackbirds took a 4-3 lead with three runs in the fifth inning. An RBI single, an RBI groundout and a throwing error led to the three runs. With the score tied 3-3 and men on first and third, an error on a pickoff attempt at first led to the runner from third scoring and giving the Blackbirds the lead.
Central took the lead again in the bottom of the inning. Severino's second RBI and third hit of the game tied the game at 4-4. Matuszak led off the inning with a single and went to second on a walk to Sportman. He scored on Severino's single. A single by Hickey scored Sportman to give the Blue Devils the 5-4 lead.
The Blackbirds had a runner on third with no outs in the seventh inning, but Wells threw out the potential tying run on a slow grounder to third for the second out of the inning. Ingham picked up the save by pitching the final inning of the victory.
The two teams will finish the weekend series on Sunday with a single game beginning at 1 p.m.