Baseball Splits a Pair at MCLA

Matt DiCato
Matt DiCato

North Adams, Mass. - The Framingham State University baseball team split a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader this afternoon against MCLA at the Joe Zavattaro Complex.  The Rams won the opener by a score of 7-1 before falling in game two 3-2. 

The Rams finish the regular season with a school record 25 wins as they move to 25-14 on the season and 10-4 in the conference with the split, while the Trailblazers are now 12-23 overall and 3-11 in the MASCAC.

Framingham plated six runs in the second inning of game one on four hits as they capitalized on three MCLA errors. MCLA starter Ross Miner walked senior Pedro Acevedo (Fall River, Mass.) to lead off the inning and junior Justin Forman (Watertown, Mass.) reached on an infield single. Freshman Mark Mainini (Hull, Mass.) reached on a fielder's choice and everybody was safe on the bobble by MCLA shortstop Rory Slattery. Sophomore Tony Iafolla (Medfield, Mass.) singled home two and later in the inning senior Chris Blydell (Lynn, Mass.) singled home two more runs.

Framingham State starting pitcher, sophomore Matt DiCato (Winthrop, Mass.) did the rest as he recorded seven strikeouts through the first three innings and allowed just two hits in six innings of work.

Miner pitched six as well, allowing nine hits and four earned runs (seven total) with five strikeouts.

MCLA tacked on a run in the seventh. Cody Weaver led off with a double and went to third when the throw got away. Sean Coyle would single him home with one out, but the Trailblazers could not push anymore across.

Forman had three hits in game one for the Rams, all infield singles.

Game two was a pitcher's duel as MCLA senior Daniel Gaines was terrific in his last start in an MCLA uniform as he outdueled Rams starter Ryan Stoller (Milton, Mass.).

Gaines allowed an unearned run in the first and then kept the Rams quiet until the seventh inning. The Rams would get a run without a hit in the first. Blydell reached on an error opening the game, stole second and took third when the throw sailed into center-field. He would later score on a groundout by freshman Cam Couillard (North Andover, Mass.).

MCLA got to Stoller in the third. Mike Mancivalano singled and went to second on a Joe Duncan sacrifice. Chase Preite walked and both would advance one base with two outs on a wild pitch. Slattery would pick both up with a single to left making it 2-1 MCLA after three.

MCLA would make it 3-1 in the fifth when Duncan laid down a bunt single to third with one out and then stole second base. Cody Weaver would single him in with outs and provide some insurance for Gaines.

The Weaver hit would loom large as the Rams made a push in the seventh.  With one out, Iafolla and Matt Roberge (Lowell, Mass.) hit back-to-back singles. Sophomore Ivan Colon (Waltham, Mass.) singled home a run making it 3-2 and the Rams would later load the bases with just one out. Gaines however would induce a pitcher-to-home-to-first double play to end the game. 

Stolley took the loss for Framingham as he pitched six innings allowing six hits and three runs. Gaines went the distance as well allowing six hits and two runs (one earned).

Senior Nick Mancini had two hits on the day for MCLA.

Framingham returns to action next Thursday in the opening round of the MASCAC Tournament. The third seed Rams will travel to second seed Westfield State at 3 p.m., while MCLA will conclude their season at home tomorrow versus Newbury College at 1 p.m.