Baseball Gets First Sweep Against the Mount

The Blue Devils are second in the NEC with a 7-2 record.

Steve McLaughlin

The Blue Devils are second in the NEC with a 7-2 record.

Ryan Jones, Editor-in-Chief

Central Connecticut baseball continued their impressive start to this season this past weekend, sweeping Mount St. Mary’s in a three game series.

The Blue Devils outscored the Mount 16-6 over the three games and improved their conference record to 7-2, a game behind Bryant for first place in the Northeast Conference standings.

While the Blue Devils run support helped lighten the load, the pitching stole the show in game one of the series. Senior southpaw Andrew Braun struck out nine batters Thursday and only allowed one run across his six innings. Junior Dylan Sabia struck out four more batters en route to the three inning save.

The cold weather Thursday was not a problem for Braun, who comes from California originally.

“It goes both ways,” Braun said. “As pitchers you think your arm is going to be too tight, as hitters you’re not swinging the bat like you want to. If you think about it too much it’ll effect you in the wrong way.”

The game was not a complete runaway for CCSU, however. The Mount loaded up the bases in the final frame of the game and had its best hitter, Myles Nicholson, up to bat. Sabia delivered a swinging strikeout that halted the late comeback.

“Those are things you have to clean up,” head coach Charlie Hickey said after the game. “Against better teams those mistakes are going to come back and haunt you.”

The start of the second game was a pitcher’s duel. Going into the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Devils had only mustered one hit against MSM’s pitching. The Mount used the quiet bats to its advantage, hitting three straight singles to load the bases and a sacrifice to put one on the board. Senior pitcher Brandon Fox was able to get out of the inning with a ground out to second.

CCSU’s offense came to life in the fifth inning. The Blue Devils used a double, a triple and a single in that order to put three runs on the board. Two more insurance runs were added in the eighth, allowing CCSU to cruise to another easy victory.

Jay Devito lead CCSU in hits (3) and RBIs (2) Friday. He leads the team so far with 18 hits on the year.

The Blue Devils fell behind early in the final game of the weekend. The Mount strung together four hits in the top of the second inning that put three runs on the board. This would be the final score of the weekend for MSM, however.

Devito doubled in the next inning to earn himself another RBI and tie it up for CCSU. The Blue Devils were able to take advantage of some erratic pitching from the Mount, scoring on a failed pickoff attempt to give them the lead.

Sophomore Tim Buchuek got himself in a jam in the top of the seventh. After recording two straight outs, the Mount loaded up the bases for the sophomore. Devito got him out of the jam with a force out at third.

Though the Blue Devils are off to a hot start so far, the team knows it can do better going forward.

“Winning is good, but we have to get better,” Hickey said.

“We’re doing good as of right now, but we’re not done,” Braun said. “We still need to keep the momentum. We’ve still gotta lot of work to do.”

The Blue Devils will be back in action this weekend as they take on Merrimack in a three game series at home.