DeAndrea hits grad slam to lift Western over #15 Eastern, 10-9
From the desk of Bob Molta - Eastern SID
MANSFIELD, CT (Apr. 10) — Zack Dandrea slammed a tie-breaking grand slam on the first pitch he saw from reliever Matt Purnell that carried the Western Connecticut State University baseball team to its first Little East Conference win of the year, a 10-9 decision over No. 15 nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
Western (10-14, 1-4 Little East) never trailed Bill Eannotti hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning, but Eastern (16-6, 3-2 Little East) battled back to tie the game twice before Dandrea unloaded his team-leading sixth home run of the season with one out in the eighth inning to give the Colonials a 10-6 lead. The homer was the third of the game for Western, which has 26 roundtrippers this season.
Down 10-6, Eastern got one back on Adam Roderick’s first home run at Eastern leading off the eighth and scored twice in the ninth on pinch hitter Gavin Lavallee’s two-run single to make it 10-9. With the tying and winning runs aboard, however, reliever Chris Alberto recorded his second save by getting a long fly ball to left and a routine fly to center to give Western its second win over Eastern in the last two meetings.
Trailing 6-4, Eastern scored twice in the seventh on three straight hits and had the go-ahead run on third with none out, but freshman Joe Fedak replaced starter Dave Alarcon and got a pair of called strikeouts and an inning-ending fly ball to right.
The heart of the Western order – Conor Bierfeldt, Dandrea, Bill Eannotti and Kyle Savo, combined for ten hits, nine RBI and seven runs. Bierfeldt gave Western a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, Eannotti belted a two-run home run in the fourth to put the Colonials into a 3-2 lead, and Savo plated a run in a two-run seventh inning that gave the visitors a 6-4 lead.
Danny O’Connell extended his hitting streak to 13 with four hits for Eastern, while Roderick, Brendan Lynch, and T.J. Larivee each collected three in the Warriors’ 19-hit attack. Mike Riemer tripled to tie the game 4-4 in the sixth and Lynch had an RBI single in the third and run-scoring triple in Eastern’s two-run seventh inning which tied the game 6-6.
Eastern hosts Bridgewater State University Wednesday at 4 p.m.