Providence, RI --- Junior Dan Hopkins (Cranston, RI) went 2-for-4 with four RBI, two runs scored, a double, homer and a walk as the Rhode Island College baseball team downed Worcester State, 13-5, at Anchorman Field.
Junior Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, MA) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of doubles, while freshman starter C.J. Tsoumakas (Hope, RI) picked up his first collegiate win (1-1) in the game.
The Anchormen (8-8) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as junior Mike Giustino (Wappingers Falls, NY) singled through the left side and came home on Hopkins' homer to right field.
The Lancers (10-7) stormed back in the second, tagging Tsoumakas for four runs on five hits.
With runners on first and third and two down, freshman JD Salinas (Fredericksburg, TX) singled up the middle to plate one. Sophomore Chris Creen (Worcester, MA) followed with an RBI double and classmate Nick Gezotis (Westfield, MA) double in a pair to stake the visitors to a 4-2 advantage.
The hosts picked up Tsoumakas in the third as Allaire and Giustino were on second and third, respectively, with no outs to start the frame. Hopkins earned his third RBI of the day with a run-scoring ground out to the mound and Giustino later scored on a fielding error to tie the game, 4-4.
Both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Allaire led off with a double. After Giustino struck out, the Lancers elected to intentionally walk Hopkins, who had done most of the previous damage. The decision proved to be fateful as senior Gary Levesque (East Providence, RI) made WSU junior starter Cruz Rosado (Clinton, MA) pay with a three-run bomb to right field to put the hosts back on top, 7-4.
Junior Eric Blanchard (Warwick, RI) came on in relief of Tsoumakas in the eighth and was greeted by a senior Nick Fluegge (Ware, MA) solo blast to left center. Blanchard settled down and bridged the gap to the ninth without surrendering any more runs.
Allaire and Giustino each got aboard with singles in the home half of the eighth and Hopkins doubled in an insurance run to give RIC a three-run cushion, 8-5. His brother, junior Brent Hopkins (Cranston, RI), got in on the act with a bases loaded RBI single. Junior catcher J.P. Stone (Narragansett, RI) broke the game open with a two-run single. RIC plated two more on a Lancer throwing error and wild pitch to head into the ninth up by eight, 13-5.
Tsoumakas allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings of work to pick up the victory. Rosado took the loss (2-1), surrendering seven runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits to go along with five strikeouts in six 2/3 innings pitched.
RIC sophomore reliever Josh Lynch (West Greenwich, RI) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Worcester State had three players pick up multiple hits, led by Salinas who went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. With 23 career homers, Fluegge is now alone in second place, with exactly half as many as Eric Swedberg, the all-time leader (46).
Both squads will play again tomorrow with single games at 3:30. Worcester State will entertain UMass Dartmouth at Assumption while Rhode Island College heads to Brandeis.
Release Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information