N. Dartmouth, MA --- Freshman David Ruggiero (Peabody, MA) went 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored as he helped propel Worcester State to a 19-4 triumph over UMass Dartmouth in non-conference baseball action this afternoon.
With the win the Lancers (5-16) snapped an eight game losing streak that marked their longest drought since the 2007 season. Starting with a setback to UMass Boston, WSU lost nine consecutive from April 11-22 including four straight twinbill against Westfield State, #12 Eastern Connecticut, MCLA and Salem State.
The Corsairs dip to 11-8 with the home setback.
WSU finished pounding away at a season-best 23 hits – including six doubles. At least every starter finished with a base-knock as they were paced by sophomore Dan Ubele (Tyngsboro, MA) and first-year Cody Osburn (Fair Oaks, CA) who finished with three hits.
Juniors Nick Gezotis (Westfield, MA) and Kurt Sabacinski (Worcester, MA/St. Peter-Marian), second-year Joseph Carlier (Rockland, MA) and senior Jack Rafferty (Thompson, CT) all contributed two safeties each. Carlier and Ubele both had three RBIs and Carlier would cross home plate four times.
UMass Dartmouth went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first on back-to-back run-producing base-knocks by freshman Rya Medeiros (Acushnet, MA) and junior Matt Worden (New Bedford, MA).
The Blue and Gold responded with a run in the third on an RBI double by Ubele and tied the score 2-2 in the fourth and on a plated run by Ruggerio.
The Corsairs answered right back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI ground-out by first-year Jim Cranston (East Lyme, CT), but the Lancers would blow the game open with a six-run fifth frame. Freshman Jeff Bolio (Oxford, MA) and Carlier highlighted the frame as they both knocked in a pair of runners.
After UMass Dartmouth got an unearned score back in the sixth to make for an 8-4 game, Worcester State took advantage of the bullpen and batted around in the top of the eighth. Sophomore Cory Loomer (Shrewsbury, MA) had a two-run single while Ubele, Carlier and Gezotis all had RBIs.
The Lancers tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth on a run producing double by freshman Brian O'Connor (W. Boylston, MA) and a two-run single by Rafferty.
Freshman Jared Kuzio (Franklin, MA) tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings for WSU. Kuzio (1-1) yielded four runs (three earned) on six hits to go with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Kuzio would be lifted with runners on the corners in the sixth and turn it over to the bullpen who tossed 3 1/3 frames of hitless relief. First-year Joe Perlak (Chicopee, MA) was perfect for 1 2/3 innings and junior Joe Piscitelli (Oxford, MA) fanned the side in the bottom of the ninth.
Senior Kyle St. Thomas (Bridgewater, MA) also tacke on a scoreless 2/3 of an inning in the eighth.
Junior Aaron Brunette (N. Andover, MA) was saddled with the setback as he went four-plus innings allowing seven runs (six hits) on seven hits to go with five punchouts and a pair of free passes.
Three pitchers out of the UMD bench would combine for four innings of work, 11 runs (9 earned), 16 hits and a trio of strikeouts. The Corsair relief corps did not issue a walk.
Freshman Zach Perry (Mansfield, MA) touched home twice and classmate Nate Farias (Fall River, MA/Durfee) paced a six-hit attack with a pair of singles.
Both squads will play conference opponents tomorrow over the weekend. Worcester State travels to Salem State for a matchup on Good Friday at 12 PM while UMass Dartmouth hosts Southern Maine for two nine-inning affairs on Saturday at noon.