Baseball Drops Season-Opener To UMass


Julia Jade Moran

The Blue Devils will take on UMass once again this weekend.

Patrick Gustavson, Sports Editor

Despite the poor weather in New Britain, Central Connecticut’s baseball team managed to get in their season-opener against Massachusetts on Saturday. After leading for seven innings, the Blue Devils were taken down by a score of 2-1.

The story for the Blue Devils was a lack of offense, managing just three hits on the game while striking out 14 times.

But things started on a strong note for Central when second baseman Chandler Debrosse singled in the first inning. He was moved to third on a single by sophomore designated hitter Jake Siracusa.

Debrosse is looking to bounce back after a hamstring injury left him sidelined for much of last season.

The Blue Devils scored their only run of the game in the second, not even coming on a hit. Sophomore first baseman Jay Devito grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring classmate and catcher Sam Loda. The Blue Devils had a chance to add onto their lead as they stranded two men in scoring position.

Devito faces the tall task of filling in for TT Bowens, who is out until at least April with a torn ACL after missing nearly all of last season with a torn ACL in his other knee.

But the team was held in check all day by Minutemen hurler Justin Lasko, who fanned 11 Blue Devils in 5.2 innings of work while walking just three.

The only other hit the team managed was by sophomore Matt Bertochi in his first game as the team’s starting shortstop.

Despite the struggles, the Blue Devils carried a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning.

In the top of the eighth, senior Patrick Mitchell, after recording the first out, yielded back-to-back singles, giving the Minutemen two runners on with just one out. He was then relieved by senior lefthander Jared Gallagher.

A groundout moved both runners into scoring position but acted as the second out of the inning.

But Minutemen center fielder Luke Oliphant singled off of Gallagher, clearing the bases and giving UMass the 2-1 advantage, which would be the final score.

Prior to the eighth, the Blue Devils saw a great deal of success on the mound.

Junior Brandon Fox opened his campaign with five strong innings, surrendering no runs on four hits with just one walk, though he only struck out one batter.

Fellow junior Andrew Braun came on in relief and tossed two nearly-perfect innings, giving up just one hit while fanning four Minutemen, on par with his 2018 performance where he sported a sub-3.00 earned run average (ERA).

The Blue Devils were supposed to play a three-game set against the Minutemen, but poor field conditions on Friday and rain on Saturday saw it reduced to a single game.

The team will be back in next weekend when they travel to Annapolis for two games against Navy and two more games against UMass. They will return home on Wednesday, March 6 against in-state opponent Hartford.