The Central Connecticut baseball team used a nine-run sixth inning to win the first game of a doubleheader at LIU Brooklyn on Saturday in Brooklyn, NY. The Blackbirds bounced back to win the second game, 6-4, in Northeast Conference action.
CCSU stands at 15-12 overall and 6-3 in NEC play, while LIU moved to 10-13 overall and 2-4 in NEC play.
GAME 1: CCSU 9, LIU 8
Central erased a five-run deficit with a nine-run sixth inning to rally for a win in the day's first game. CCSU managed to hold of a late LIU charge to claim the victory. The Blue Devils cranked out 13 hits as a team and were led by Costello's three doubles and three RBIs on the day.
The Blackbirds scored first after they loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning and a double by Andrew Turner cleared the bases to make it 3-0. With two outs, Luis Arias doubled to left center to score Turner and push the lead to 4-0.
Joe Mercadante pushed the lead to 5-0 for LIU with a solo homerun in the fifth before Central rallied in the sixth with nine runs. The Blue Devils would bat around and score nine runs to erase its early deficit.
Junior Dylan Maher got the inning going with a single and moved to third on a double by Costello with no one out. Freshman TT Bowens followed with a pinch-hit single to drive in Maher and put runners on the corners. Junior Mitch Guilmette delivered the fourth straight hit of the inning with a single to bring in a run and make it 5-2. After a walk to senior Tyler Coleman loaded the bases, senior Franklin Jennings laced a single to left center to plate two runs and cut the deficit to 5-4. Sophomore Chandler Debrosse loaded the bases with a bunt single before freshman Chris Kanios laid down a bunt that was misplayed and allowed Coleman to score and tie the game, 5-5. Still with no outs and the bases loaded, junior Dean Lockery drew a walk to bring home the go-ahead run. After LIU got its first out of the inning, Costello hit a double off the wall to clear the bases and push the Central lead to 9-5.
Costello would finish with three hits, all doubles, and drive in three runs for the second straight game. Guilmette also had three hits, while Jennings had two hits and two RBIs.
LIU would try to mount a rally in the bottom of the seventh with three runs. The Blackbirds would manage to load the bases with two outs without recording a hit. A pair of CCSU errors would allow three runs to come across and cut the lead to 9-8 before junior Nick Plachno got a fly out to close the game.
Freshman Ron Grant was credited with the win. He started and went 6.0 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks. He recorded three strikeouts. Plachno came on with the bases full in the ninth and got the final out for the save.
Anthony Rupp started for LIU and took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits. Mercadante and Luis Arias each had two hits for the Blackbirds.
GAME 2: LIU 6, CCSU 4
The Blackbirds pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a tie and pick up a win in the day's second game. Central had rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the game in the top of the inning, but could not overtake LIU.
Lockery led off the game with a triple down the right field line and came around one batter later on a ground out by Maher to make it 1-0.
The Blackbirds came back with two runs in the bottom of the first. Three straight walks loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly by Edward Modica brought home the first run and moved Dom Paiotti to third. On the next at bat Paiotti would steal home and Mercadante swiped second base to give LIU a 2-1 lead.
LIU would push across two more runs in the second inning after loading the bases with one out. Mercadante and Joe Curcio were then hit by pitches in consecutive at bats and plated runs to push the lead to 4-1.
The Blue Devils would cut the deficit to one run in the third inning with a pair of runs. Senior Nick Landell and Maher each singled before a double by Costello would score Landell to make it 4-2. Bowens followed with a single through the left side to score Maher and make it 4-3.
In the CCSU fifth, Bowens would blast his third homer of the season to tie the game at 4-4. Central would get runners to second and third with two outs before LIU managed to get out of the inning.
The Blackbirds would take the lead back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homerun by Turner with one out to make it 5-4. Two walks and a single would then load the bases for Paiotti, who drew a walk to bring home a run and make it 6-4.
Baylor LaPointe, who came on in relief for LIU, would retire the Blue Devils over the final two innings to get the win and go to 2-3 on the season. He allowed one run over 3.0 innings on three hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Junior Kyle Anderson took the loss in relief for CCSU. He allowed two runs on two hits, with three walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work. Sophomore Mike Appel started for Central and was charged with four runs in 2.0 innings of work.
The Blue Devils banged out nine hits in the game, with Jennings, Landell and Bowens collecting two each. Bowens finished with two RBIs in the game.
The teams wrap up the series with a single game Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m.