Pitching Pushes CCSU To Two Shutout Wins


CCSU Athletics

CCSU baseball wins series against Bethune-Cookman with two shutout victories.

Ryan Jones, Managing Editor

In their first showing of the season, Central Connecticut baseball allowed only one run to Bethune-Cookman over three games, collecting their first two wins in shutout fashion.

Senior Andrew Braun started on the mound Friday for the Blue Devils. Despite only starting in four games over the previous three seasons, Braun put in six scoreless innings of work, allowing only one hit and striking out seven.

Dylan Benton came in relief for Braun, pitching another clean three innings and striking out a trio along the way for his first save of his career. The sophomore bullpen arm only appeared in 7.2 innings of play last season.

Freshman arm Anthony Mozzicato was the Blue Devils’ third and final starter of the series. In his first seven collegiate innings, he only allowed two hits and struck out just the same. Tim Buchek and Dominic Niman came in relief, helping clinch CCSU’s second shutout in three games.

While this is only the first series of the year, it should be noted that in their first series last season, head coach Charlie Hickey put his top two starters on the mound.

Little changed over the three games on the other side of the ball. The only shift over the three games was TT Bowens moving from first base to left field. This move pushed Jack Nolan into the lineup while taking Peyton Stephens out. When Bowens was recovering from injury at the start of last season, Nolan knocked in 12 RBIs on 10 hits in replacement.

While Central committed three errors to the Wildcats’ two in the first game, it was Bethune-Cookman who would be paying.

With two outs down in the top of the third, Chris Kanios was able to steal third, then chug all the way home for the Blue Devils’ first run of the season.

At the top of the fifth, Jake Siracusa garnered a walk, then took little time to steal second before reaching third on a passed ball. Chandler Debrosse scored Siracusa in the ensuing at-bat, giving CCSU a 2-0 cushion that would stand until the final out.

The Blue Devil offense could not get things going the same way in game two. CCSU never got past second, going out with four three-up, three-down innings. They struck out 12 times.

Scoring in the third and final game came in a strange way for the Blue Devils. After Debrosse was scored by a sac-fly in the first, some defensive mishaps helped guide CCSU to their remaining runs.

After getting walked, Dave Matthews advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then, he made his way to third on … another wild pitch. Finally, Matthews ran those final 90 feet to score after Bethune-Cookman’s reliever threw, you guessed it, another wild pitch.

The pitching woes for B-CU continued into the fifth. After a fielding error, the Wildcats walked the next two batters, loading up the bases for the Blue Devils. But CCSU would not need a grand slam to send some of these runners home, rather, another fielding error and yet another walk put them up 4-0. The Blue Devils rode out this lead to the end, securing their first series victory of the young season.

CCSU will be heading where the weather is warmer next, as they take on Pittsburgh and Lehigh in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.