Little East Conference Tournament - Game 5
Eastern Connecticut Knocks Off Southern Maine 4-1
GORHAM, Maine -- Eastern Connecticut State University seniors Nick Rascati (Wallingford, Conn./Xavier) and Cole Ogorzalek (Portland, Conn.) combined to limit the top-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies to four hits as the Warriors stayed alive in the 2019 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament with a 4-1 victory Thursday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.
The loss snapped the Huskies' 12-game winning streak, dropping them to 33-6 on the season. The Warriors, who dropped their opening game in the tournament and faced a must-win situation in the six-team, double-elimination tournament, improve to 23-17 on the season.
Rascati held the Huskies' bats in check giving up one run on two hits and three walks while striking out two. Ogorzalek came on to pitch 2.2 shutout innings in relief giving up two hits and one walk while fanning two. The win was the second of the season for Rascati, while Ogorzalek earned his third save.
USM junior starter Gage Feeney (Cutler, Maine/Washington Academy) suffered his second loss of the season against six wins. Feeney gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out six.
The Warriors to a 1-0 lead in the third sophomore Jack Rich (Meriden, Conn.) doubled with two outs to score senior William Coleman (Northford, Conn.) from second base.
The ECSU lead grew to 2-0 in the fifth when sophomore Luke Broadhurst (Stafford, Conn.) hit a solo home run to left field. The round tripper was the fifth of the season for Broadhurst.
Southern Maine finally got on the board in the seventh when senior Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) doubled down the left field line to end Rascati's day on the hill. Senior Jack Sylvia (Glastonbury, Conn.) greeted Ogorzalek for a ground ball single to score Quintal. Ogorzalek got out of the inning getting the next two batters on a strikeout and fielder's choice.
Eastern picked up two insurance runs in the home half of the frame when a potential inning-ending double play was not handled at first base allowing two unearned runs to score.
The Huskies put together a threat to open the eighth inning as Ogorzalek walked junior Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) and junior Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) singled through the right side. The Warriors were able to turn a 5-3 double play to diminish the threat, and Ogorzalek handled the final out himself on a comebacker to the mound.
USM and LEC officials announced after the game that all three of Friday's scheduled games have been postponed due to the incoming bad weather. Play will resume on Saturday starting at 12 p.m. with Game 7. The championship round will move to Sunday.
With the USM loss, the tournament will have five teams still alive after Thursday's play is concluded. Southern Maine awaits the loser of the game between Rhode Island College and the University of Massachusetts Boston in Game 7. Eastern Connecticut stays alive to play the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Game 8 at 3:30 p.m. The winner of the RIC-UMB game moves into Game 9 at 7 p.m. taking on the winner of Game 7.