The Central Connecticut baseball team won its Northeast Conference opener, 10-7, at LIU Brooklyn on Friday in Brooklyn, NY. The Blue Devils pounded out 13 hits and slugged three home runs in the win. Central improved to 3-5 overall and 1-0 in the NEC with the win, while LIU slipped to 7-9 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The teams continue the three-game series with a single game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The Blue Devils got the scoring started in the top of the first inning. Senior Dean Lockery doubled to lead off and scored on the next batter after sophomore Chris Kanios singled to left field, making it 1-0.
The Blackbirds took the lead in the second inning with two runs. Anthony Warneke reached on an error and Luis Arias de los Santos followed with an inside the park homer to make it 2-1.
CCSU regained the lead with a five-run third inning. With one out, the Blue Devils drew three straight walks to load the bases. Senior Nick Garland singled to center field to bring home Lockery and knot the game, 2-2. Following a fielder's choice, freshman Peyton Stephens delivered a two-out grand slam to left field to clear the bases and make it 6-2.
LIU would get a run in each of the third and fourth innings to trim the Central lead to 6-4.
The score would remain that way until senior Mitch Guilmette led off the CCSU seventh with a homer to make it 7-4. Alex Briggs would double in Arias in the bottom of the seventh to get LIU back within, 7-5.
Senior Dylan Maher singled to lead off the eighth inning for Central. He would would advance to third base on a pair of groundouts before scoring on a single by Kanios to make it 8-5.
Central tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the ninth. After a two-out walk put a runner on base, Maher homered to right-center to make it 10-5.
The Blackbirds tried to rally in the ninth. Arias led off with a single and would move to third base on a pair of ground outs. With two outs, Gregory Vaughn walked and stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Dom Paiotti delivered a single, driving in two runs to make it 10-7. Junior Tom Curtin got a ground out on the next batter to end the rally and the game.
Maher (3-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, HR) and Kanios (3-4, 2 RBIs) each had three hits for the Blue Devils. Guilmette hit his third homerun in two games, while Stephens hit his first career homerun.
Sophomore Brandon Fox started and went 4.1 innings. He was charged with three earned runs, while striking out two. He walked one and scattered eight hits. Sophomore Andrew Braun tossed 1.2 innings in relief to get the win. He struck out three, while walking one and giving up two hits. Curtin picked up the save, tossing 3.0 innings and recording a pair of strikeouts and allowing two earned runs.
The series continues on Saturday with a single, nine-inning game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.