BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Logan Sullo set the all-time Massachusetts Maritime Academy career home run record as the Buccaneers put on one of their most complete offensive performances of the year in a 10-4 victory over visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology. Brian Kwedor tossed a complete game as the Bucs prepared for the final push for a MASCAC title.
Neither side threatened until the second, when Nick Haley continued his scorching play with a booming double to the right field corner that bounced off the fence, newly decorated with a navy blue Buccaneers wrap in advance of Saturday's Grand Re-Opening. Paul Sances singled Haley home for the 1-0 lead.
The Leopards struck back immediately after Owen Swanson bounced a ball up-the-middle for a one-out baserunner. The next ball was struck to third, but a potential double play throw sailed into right center to allow Tim Elrick to drive in two on a one-base knock.
Wentworth added another pair of runs in the second as Kwedor induced a fair amount of weak contact in the early frames that all seemed to find holes. This time, a Ross Golebiewski leadoff single and a sacrifice set up Swanson, who roped a two-base hit to make the score 3-1. He came around on an Aidan French RBI-single.
WIT starter Bobby Sheldon came out of the game after three and the Buccaneers jumped on reliever Brendan Winch. Billy Keane flashed his plus speed in beating out a routine grounder to shortstop and promptly swiped second. Haley then rocketed a double to left center to plate Keane. The second of two groundballs scored Haley and MMA cut the deficit to one.
Kwedor settled in after a rocky first four innings and would have retired 11 batters in-a-row between the fifth and eighth were it not for an error. However, the Leopards could not get anything going against the tall right-hander and the Bucs solved Winch in the sixth.
After two Buccaneers struck out looking against Winch as the strike zone expanded in the middle frames, Jackson Simone laced a ball to right field and moved over as Sances dropped a safety to left.
A double steal put two runners in scoring position and Ben Paine bounced a grounder to the left side. Wentworth's shortstop fired the ball wide to first and, on the swipe tag, first baseman Tyler Weninger lost the ball as his arm was entangled with Paine. The ball caromed into right field and Simone and Sances scored, with Paine motoring to second. That was all in the sixth for the Buccaneers, but the 5-4 lead would quickly grow.
Connor Kennedy led off the seventh with a long fly to right center that just kept carrying and the senior circled the bases on his second home run in two games and the fourth of his four-year career. Casey Furnas then dropped a gorgeous bunt down the third base line and beat the throw to set up Sullo.
Maritime's senior catcher struck Winch's first pitch with his finest longball swing and the no-doubt round-tripper etched Sullo's names in the Buccaneer baseball record book. Sullo as six home runs for the year and 16 for his career, besting Matt Scioletti's 15 from 1997-2000.
That was all for Winch, but reliever Ricky Alexy did no better as Keane legged out another infield hit, this time down the first base line. A stolen base and a flyball move him to third, and the fleet-footed senior raced home on a wild pitch.
The final score in the five-run seventh came after three straight singles from Simone, Sances, and Paine loaded the bases. The fourth reliever of the day, Zach Gagnon walked Nate Anderson to force in a run, but would get the next two outs to stop the bleeding. Neither side threatened the rest of the way and the scorebook closed at 10-4.
Kwedor went the distance, scattering 10 hits and two free passes in surrendering two earned runs. The junior struck out five and threw 121 pitches as he improved to 3-0 on the season, propelling the first-place Buccaneers to 16-13 on the season.
Winch (2-2) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in three frames, striking out two as Wentworth fell to 10-15. Starter Robby Sheldon looked very good in his return from injuries in giving up one run on two hits and no walks in three innings. Swanson, Golebiewski, and Andrew Elliott each had a brace of hits for Wentworth, with Swanson scoring twice.
Sances had three safeties to lead the Buccaneers, which totalled 14 hits and two walks on the day, striking out only three times. Keane, Haley, Simone, and Paine all had a pair of base knocks, while Keane had two of Maritime's four stolen bases.
"This was a really good team win," remarked Head Coach Mike Kelley. "Kwedor settled down after giving up some runs early and the whole team contributed behind him."
The next event for the Academy's baseball team is the Grand Re-Opening of Commodore William R. Hendy, Jr. Field on Saturday. The event will feature a pre-game ceremony at 11:40 commemorating the new all-turf field, including first pitches from Hendy's three sons, John, Thomas, and Bill, as well as legendary retired Coach Bob Corradi and Academy President Admiral Francis X. McDonald. Bourne Youth Baseball and the Bourne Fire Department will assist with celebrations.
Pack a picnic and bring your lawn chairs and blankets as we welcome distinguished alumni and guests, members of the Cape Cod League administration and its managers, and former players for the grand occasion. All are welcome to Hendy Field for the final MASCAC doubleheader of the year against Worcester State (12-23, 6-6) as the Buccaneers attempt to win the conference.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate