WESTFIELD, Mass. - Sophomore pitcher Kyle Gray (Braintree, Mass.) threw a complete game allowing just one earned run on Monday afternoon as the Worcester State University baseball team avoided a three-game sweep, defeating Westfield State University 8-2 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at Bud & Jim Hagan Field.
With the win, the Lancers snap a four game losing skid, improving to 8-6 overall and 1-2 in the MASCAC this season. Westfield State moves to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in MASCAC play.
The Lancers were the designated home team, despite the contest being played on the campus of Westfield State. Worcester's Lyons Diamond received frost overnight and the field was deemed unplayable early in the day.
Worcester State scored in each of the game's first three innings to jump out to a fast 6-0 lead and into the driver's seat. Sophomore Jake Breton (Wilbraham, Mass.) got the Lancers on the board first in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI groundout to second, which was followed up by a sacrifice fly from Michael Ferrara (Easton, Mass.), stretching Worcester's lead to 2-0 after one.
An RBI double from Cooper Bigelow (Leominster, Mass.) in the bottom of the second inning extended Worcester State's lead to 3-0, and in the third inning it was Seth Leslie (Phillipston, Mass.) who recorded an RBI double, pushing the Lancer lead to 4-0. A Kenan Kolanda (Sterling, Mass.) suicide squeeze and Sam Allen (Springfield, Mass.) RBI single had Worcester State up 6-0 through three.
The Owls got on the board in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI single from Anthony Crowley, but Gray wouldn't let Westfield's offense continue to rally in the inning.
Two runs came across on an RBI fielder's choice from Michael Chaves Jr. (Hudson, Mass.) in the bottom of the seventh as the Lancers added some insurance. Chaves was credited with one RBI on the play, while a second run came across on an errant throw from second as the Owls attempted to turn a double play.
Aaron Clancy grabbed an RBI in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly for the Owls, but it proved to be far too little too late as Worcester State closed out the win.
Gray allowed just the one earned run in the complete game, allowing 10 hits and walking just three. Junior Kevin Larkin (Rocky Hill, Conn.) led Worcester State with three hits in the victory, while Bigelow, Ferrara, Leslie, and Allen all recorded a pair.
The Lancers will have a quick turnaround, as they play Rhode Island College tomorrow in Providence at 3 p.m.