Gulls Rally for Non-Conference Comeback Win Over Owls

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BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott needed to overcome a five-run deficit but rallied for four runs in the fifth inning and went on to defeat Westfield State 6-5 in non-conference baseball on Thursday afternoon at North Field.

The Gulls (24-11) have now won ten of their last eleven contests, while Westfield State drops to 14-18, after suffering their fifth defeat in their previous seven games.

The top three batters in the Endicott order each had two hits, with second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.) driving in two runs with a double to left field in the four-run fifth.

First baseman Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass.) was one of those players with two hits, but it was an RBI groundout in the seventh that scored right fielder Conor Ressel (Rockport, Mass.) to help the Gulls take the lead.

Held to just three hits and no runs through four frames, Endicott saw their first four men in the fifth hit safely, with Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) doubling to center to lead off the inning. Eric Lemke (Southington, Conn.) moved Gold to third and catcher EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) got the Gulls on the board with an RBI single to center field.

Ressel added an RBI sacrifice fly before Oringer got hold of a ball that scored Martinez and shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.), though Oringer was thrown out trying to advance to third.

The Gulls would tack on the tying run in the sixth, thanks to a single by Lemke that plated Ressel.

It was a staff day for the Endicott pitchers, and nine different hurlers took the mound for the Blue and Green. The victory went to Connor McLaughlin (Clinton, Mass.), who finished the seventh inning and pitched a perfect eighth, collecting one strikeout.

Senior Kevin Dupras (Belchertown, Mass.) recorded his fifth save of the year with a clean ninth inning, in which he struck out two.

The Owls had struck with two runs in the second inning and two more in the fourth. Center fielder Kevin Greene (Worcester, Mass.), who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, took a walk to start the second inning and eventually scored on a balk.  Right fielder Matt Ferrelli (Milford, Mass.), who had singled, went to third on the balk and came home on a groundout by second baseman Kyle Colesanti (Mount Kisco, N.Y.).

Colesanti had one of the two hits in a two-run fourth for the Owls, though the big play came when Tyler Adams (West Barnstable, Mass.) reached on an error with the bases loaded, allowing two runs to come in. Greene, who had doubled to start the inning and designated hitter Tim Santilli (Southbridge, Mass.) both crossed the plate.

The visitors tacked on an unearned run in the fifth when top batter Andrew Medeiros (Acushnet, Mass.) brought in sophomore left fielder Pat McWilliams (Duxbury, Mass.) with a single after McWilliams had reached second on a dropped fly ball.

Justin Thomson (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) started for the Owls, and he threw five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out five.

Thomson, like the rest of the Westfield State pitching staff, did not walk a batter. His reliever, freshman Joe Alibrandi (Quincy, Mass.) took the loss, falling to 0-2 on the year after throwing two-innings of two-run, four-hit ball with two strikeouts. Dan Whigham (Barre, Mass.) completed the trio of freshman pitchers for the Owls, pitching a flawless eighth inning.

Other Endicott pitchers of note included freshman Mike Walkowicz (Amherst, Mass.), who struck out three and gave up one hit and one unearned run over an inning and two-thirds, and Davarn Nova (Wareham, Mass.), who recorded two strikeouts and just one walk in an inning of work, as the Gulls staff fanned eleven Westfield State batters on the afternoon.

The Gulls will play their final Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) series on Saturday afternoon at Salve Regina, who is currently a game behind them at the top of the conference standings. The Gulls and Seahawks will start their first game at 12:00 pm.

At the same time, Westfield State will be on the road in Worcester for a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader against the Worcester State Lancers.