Senior Brendan Smith twirled a complete game and junior Ryan Costello drove in three runs as the Central Connecticut baseball team downed Mount St. Mary's, 9-1, on Friday at CCSU Baseball Field in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams. The Blue Devils improve to 7-7 overall and 1-0 in NEC play with the win, while The Mount falls to 0-12 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The three-game series is scheduled to continue on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The Blue Devils gave Smith all the support he would need with a three-run first inning. CCSU's first three batters all reached to load the bases for Costello who delivered a two-run single to make it 2-0. Junior Dylan Maher would bring home classmate Dean Lockery two batters later to make it 3-0.
The Mount got its only run in the top of the second after Tyler Post doubled to lead off the inning and Sean Kelly followed with a double of his own to make it 3-1. Smith would avoid further trouble by getting a line-out double-play on the next batter and then got a groundout to end the inning.
Central would add single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to extend its cushion. Senior Tyler Coleman would drive in a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and then another run in the sixth on a single to make it 5-1. A sacrifice fly by freshman Chris Kanios in the seventh made it 6-1.
In the eighth, Coleman tripled to right center with one out to spark a three-run CCSU outburst. With two outs, Costello doubled to right to bring in Coleman and make it 7-1. Freshman Buddy Dewaine would reach on a two-base error to keep the inning going and allowed Costello to come around. Maher followed with a single up the middle to drive in Dewaine and make it 9-1.
Smith, who retired nine straight at one point, finished the game with a strikeout. He scattered nine hits and walked just one, while whiffing four on the day.
Senior Franklin Jennings had three hits and two runs scored to lead CCSU, while Coleman went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Costello drove in three runs on two hits with two runs scored. Dewaine added two hits of his own for the Blue Devils.
Michael Collins took the loss for The Mount. He allowed four runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. He walked three and struck out five. Kelly led the offense for the Mountaineers with three hits.
The series is slated to continue on Saturday with a nine-inning contest at 1:00 p.m.