KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Worcester State University baseball team opened its season with a pair of losses to the University of Mount Union at the Osceola Heritage Park. The Lancers dropped the opener by a score of 12-3, before falling 7-4 in the nightcap.
With the losses, the Lancers move to 0-2 on the season, while the Purple Raiders stay perfect in Florida at 4-0.
After jumping out to an early lead, Worcester State couldn't stop the red hot Mount Union bats in its season opener, suffering a 12-3 defeat.
The Lancers got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. After junior Cooper Bigelow (Leominster, Mass.) walked to open the frame, senior Ben Palatino (Hudson, Mass.) drove a double over the head of the centerfielder, bringing Bigelow all the way around to score from first. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Palatino would score on a sacrifice fly by Michael Ferrara (Easton, Mass.).
Mount Union evened the score in the top of the third inning, scoring on RBI singles from senior Scott Cooney (North Olmsted, Ohio) and sophomore Corey White (Louisville, Ohio).
An RBI single in the top of the fourth by sophomore Nathan Duliba (Berea, Ohio) gave Mount Union their first lead of the day at 3-2.
Two innings later, senior Bryant Kennedy (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) doubled the Purple Raiders' lead with a leadoff solo shot over the left field wall. Later in the inning, senior Billy Goodall (Canfield, Ohio) drove in two more with a two-out, two-run triple to put Mount Union on top 6-2. He would score moments later on a wild pitch to push the Purple Raider advantage to five.
Mount Union tacked on five runs in the top of the seventh for some insurance. Freshman Paul Prior (Berlin, Conn.) had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning for Worcester State, but the rally fell short and the Lancers fell 12-3.
Junior PJ Walsh (Bridgewater, Mass.) took the loss for Worcester State, allowing three earned on eight hits in five innings. The win went to senior Nick Satovich (New Kensington, Pa.), who threw six innings allowing just two earned on four hits.
Despite a quality comeback bid, the Lancers could not overcome a five-run first inning in the second contest of the afternoon, falling by a final score of 7-4.
Cooney got the Raiders on the board first in the bottom of the first inning, ripping a solo home run over the right field wall and putting Mount Union on top 1-0. It would be the only earned run the Raiders would score in the contest. An RBI triple from Satovich, an RBI ground-rule double from junior Ryan Boyd (Wooster, Ohio), and a two-run single from sophomore Joey Nave (Toronto, Ohio) had the Raiders up 5-0 at the end of the first inning.
Mount Union would score one more in the second inning on an error to go ahead 6-0.
Senior Sam Allen (Springfield, Mass.) put the Lancers on the board in the top of the fourth with a two-run dinger over the left field fence, the first Worcester State home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 6-2, but Mount Union would get one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on a Satovich RBI single.
RBI sacrifice flies from freshman Andrew Miller (Naples, Fla.) and Bigelow in the top of the fifth inning cut further into the deficit, but Mount Union's bullpen settled in in the sixth and seventh to close out the sweep. Sophomore Eric Ostrowski (Youngstown, Ohio) sat the Lancers down in order in the top of the seventh to earn his second save of the season.
Junior Kyle Gray (Braintree, Mass.) took the loss, allowing six runs (only one earned) on seven hits in three innings. The win went to Raider freshman Dwayne Sumler (Indianapolis, Ind.) with a solid outing of two earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts for his first collegiate victory.
Worcester State will be back in action at Osceola Heritage Stadium on Sunday for a 2 p.m. first pitch against Ursinus.