PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Six days after his first ineffective opening-day start in three seasons, senior righty Jordan Muchin (West Hartford) rebounded with one of the best performances of his four-year career, shutting out No.1-ranked College of Wooster on four hits in his eight-inning stint in Eastern Connecticut State University's 7-0 baseball win Sunday morning at South County Regional Park.
Less than a week after allowing six earned runs in four innings in the team's opening-day 9-4 loss to formidable but not dominant LaRoche University at Port Charlotte, Muchin was masterful against Wooster (4-2), last year's Mideast Regional champion and 40-game winner which is ranked No. 1 in the most recent Division III national poll. It was the first meeting between the programs.
En route to his 15th career win, Muchin scattered four singles and walked two while strikeout out 11 – six of the punchouts coming against the top three hitters in the order. With the game well in hand, Muchin turned the ball over to senior lefty Nick Rascati (Wallingford), who got the final three outs to give Eastern (3-5) the victory in its Florida finale.
Muchin did not allow a hit or a walk after the third inning, retiring 14 in a row before walking leadoff batter Jacob Stuursma to open the eighth while holding a 5-0 lead. While Eastern was pushing across four runs in the first three innings, the Fighting Scots left six runners aboard in that span. With the game scoreless in the top of the second, Wooster loaded the bases with a walk and two hits but Muchin got the second out on a called strike three and induced a ground ball to senior second baseman William Coleman (Northford) to end the inning.
Playing its third game in less than 20 hours, Eastern banged out 14 hits against five Wooster pitchers, ending No. 2 starter Brian Murray's (1-1) day after five innings. Murray, who did not allow an earned run in his first start of the season earlier in the week, left on the short end of a 4-0 score after allowing eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
Wooster was the top offensive team in the country last year and the No. 1 seed in its bracket in last year's national tournament, winning 20 straight at one point.
Senior centerfield Alexander White (West Hartford) put the finishing touches on an impressive spring trip with three hits – including the ninth home run of his four-year career that came as the leadoff batter in the bottom of the seventh inning. He drove in two runs and scored one. In Florida, White hit safely in all eight games and led the team in hitting (.519), multi-hit games (4), multi-RBI games (3), total bases (18), walks (8), and on-base percentage (.611) He also handled 18 chances in the field without an error
Coleman, senior third baseman Alex Parkos (Meriden) and freshman shortstop Owen Marica (Haddam) each contributed two hits against Wooster, Parkos scoring twice and Coleman once. Marica, freshman catcher Matt Malcom (East Lyme) and White each drove in runs in Eastern's three-run second inning.
Coleman completed the trip second on the team in hitting (.458), with Malcom at .360. Coleman also had 13 putouts and 13 assists without an error.
Eastern opens up north Wednesday at Johnson & Wales University at 3:30 p.m. and hosts Albertus Magnus College Friday at 4 p.m. in its home-opener.