Downs Provides Extra Inning Heroics To Lead Baseball To Split Of MASCAC Twinbill With Framingham State

Downs Provides Extra Inning Heroics To Lead Baseball To Split Of MASCAC Twinbill With Framingham State


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Commodore Hendy Field, Buzzards Bay, Mass.






BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. --  Junior Greg Downs’s (Marshfield, Mass.) bases loaded infield single with two outs in the top of the 10th inning plated the winning run to give Massachusetts Maritime a 3-2 nightcap victory over Framingham State and a split of a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Commodore Hendy Field.  Senior Matt DiCato (Winthrop, Mass.) tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout and struck out six for the visiting Rams in a 1-0 opening game triumph.


The host Buccaneers (15-15, 6-8 MASCAC) loaded the bases in the decisive 10th frame after sophomore Everett Walsh (Marstons Mills, Mass.) and senior Brendan O’Kane (Pocasset, Mass.) were hit by pitches and senior Bob Lee (Braintree, Mass.) drew a 3-2 walk.  Downs’s roller up the third base line plated junior William Cooksey (Richmond, Tex.) with the tiebreaking tally, and sophomore Kyle Kennedy (Woodbury, Conn.) worked around an error in the bottom of the inning to close out the triumph.  Massachusetts Maritime took a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat when senior Ben Maher (Plymouth, Mass.) singled with two outs and scored on junior Bobby Rosano’s (North Reading, Mass.) RBI single, and that score held up until the the sixth after the visiting Rams (18-16, 8-6 MASCAC) evened matters when senior Billy Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass.) singled, advanced to third on a two-base error and scored on junior Mark Mainini’s (Hull, Mass.) run-scoring single.  The Buccaneers took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Rosano that plated sophomore pinch-runner Michael Lenane (Dorchester, Mass.), but Framingham State forced extra innings with two outs in the bottom half of the frame when sophomore Jake Wardwell (Hudson, Mass.) reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on an error before scoring on a two-out single off the bat of senior Matt Roberge (Lowell, Mass.), setting up Downs’s heroics in the 10th for the hosts.


Maher and Downs each had two hits as part of a nine-hit nightcap attack for Massachusetts Maritime, as Kennedy allowed an unearned run and fanned three to improve to 5-0 on the season for the Buccaneers, who received six innings of five-hit, six strikeout ball from senior Keith Sanchez (Monroe Township, N.J.).  Seven different Rams collected hits in the second game setback, as junior Zack Kirby (Rochester, Mass.) allowed the deciding run and struck out two to fall to 1-5 on the spring for Framingham State, which received a nine-inning performance from freshman Michael Andrews (Stoneham, Mass.) that featured six strikeouts along the way.


DiCato worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first for the visitors and locked into a pitcher’s duel with Massachusetts Maritime sophomore Kevin Kwedor (Marshfield, Mass.), who threw the 25th perfect game in NCAA Division III history last Monday afternoon in a 4-0 triumph over MCLA.  The Rams gave DiCato the only run he would need in the fourth when singles by junior Ivan Colon (Waltham, Mass.) and sophomore RJ Gray (Lowell, Mass.) sandwiched a walk to junior John Gill (Hudson, Mass.) to load the bases, and senior Anthony Iafolla (Medfield, Mass.) delivered an RBI single to plate Colon.  Gray’s three hits led a seven hit attack for Framingham State, as DiCato threw 62 of his 88 pitches for strikes to improve to 3-4 on the season.  Maher rapped out one of the four Buccaneer hits to finish with three in the twinbill, as Kwedor fanned four in going the distance on the mound for Massachusetts Maritime to fall to 2-3 on the spring with the setback.


Massachusetts Maritime sits in the sixth and final spot in the MASCAC tournament seedings, as the final spot in the upcoming conference championships will be decided tomorrow when Bridgewater State visits MCLA for a league doubleheader.  If the Bears sweep, they will earn that sixth and final spot, but if they split, the Buccaneers will capture their second straight playoff berth and travel to Framingham State for an opening round game on Thursday afternoon.  The Rams complete their regular season schedule by heading to North Dartmouth, Mass. on Tuesday afternoon to take on UMass Dartmouth in a non-league outing that begins at 3:30 p.m.