WORCESTER, Mass. — The No. 4 seed Worcester State University scored 13 runs on 15 hits and seven MCLA errors to defeat the No. 5 seed Trailblazers by a score of 13-2 in the first round of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) baseball tournament Thursday (May 4) afternoon.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 16-20 on the season and advance to the MASCAC Tournament quarterfinals. Worcester State is set to play No. 1 Westfield State in Westfield on Saturday (May 6) at 3:30 p.m. (Note: time change). With the loss, MCLA is eliminated from the tournament and concludes its 2017 campaign at 12-18.
Worcester State's offense was led by Jake Ryan (Northbridge, Mass.) who went 4-for-5 with a double, walk and a game-high three RBI. Seth Leslie (Phillipston, Mass.) and Kenan Kolanda (Sterling, Mass.) picked up three hits and two RBI apiece in the win.
MCLA plated two runs during their first at bat, as lead-off hitter, Christian Seariac (Averill Park, N.Y.), singled down the left field line to get the Trailblazers started. Next up, Jonathon Parker (Albany, N.Y.) singled to third base, advancing Seariac to second. Both runners were then bunted over by Brett LaBonte (Wareham, Mass.), as bases were loaded with no outs, the Lancers turned a 6-4-3 double play; however, the Trailblazers managed to plate one run. MCLA scored another on a Worcester State error, giving them two runs to end the inning.
The Lancers capitalized on two MCLA errors during their first at bat, scoring three unearned runs on just one hit. Worcester State's Ryan walked and then Adam Barry (Auburn, Mass.) reached on an error. Next, Mike Ferrara (Easton, Mass.) reached on an error and Ryan was able to score. A sacrifice fly from Kevin Larkin (Bristol, Conn.) scored Barry. Leslie had the only hit of the inning, scoring Ferrara and giving the Lancers a 3-2 edge over MCLA at the end of the first inning.
Worcester State held MCLA in the top of the second, turning over a quick 1-2-3 inning. The Lancers widened the gap, scoring another three runs in the bottom of the second. Worcester State's Ryan plated two runs on a double to right center, while Barry hit a sacrifice fly to score Ryan for the 6-2 advantage.
The Lancers turned another quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the third and scored one on an RBI single from Kolanda giving them a 7-2 edge over the Trailblazers entering the top of the fourth.
Worcester State pulled even further ahead of MCLA in the bottom of the sixth inning as they tallied four runs on five hits and two Trailblazer errors. Despite turning a 6-4-3 double play, MCLA was unable to hold the Lancers, who rallied and scored three of their four runs of the inning with two outs. Chipping in for the Lancers were Ryan, Ferrara, and Larking, who each had singles while Jimmy Sheehan (Oxford, Mass.) ripped a double to right center.
Worcester State was able to tack on another run in both the seventh and the eighth on RBI singles from Leslie and Ryan, while the Trailblazers remained hitless throughout the remainder of the game. Worcester State's starter, Kyle Sullivan (Hudson, Mass.) pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and relief pitcher, Andrew Reed (Douglas, Mass.) came in the 8th and did not allow a hit.
Sullivan earned the win on the mound and improves to 5-1 on the season as he permitted two runs (one unearned) on five hits. MCLA's Liam Nolan (Pittsfield, Mass.) took the loss in a 5-inning performance, allowing seven runs (three unearned) on seven hits with three strikeouts.