HOLYOKE, Mass. – The outcome could not rival last year's 20-run victory over Elms College, but Thursday night's tight 7-5 non-conference victory at Mackenzie Stadium did give the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team its longest winning streak in four years.
Eastern (18-13) scored three times in the eighth to wipe out a one-run deficit to post its sixth straight victory – matching an identical streak which closed out the regular season in 2015 and which helped spark the Warriors to reach the Little East Conference tournament championship game.
Trailing 5-4, the Warriors pushed across three runs in the eighth on senior William Coleman's (Northford) game-tying RBI single, a go-ahead passed ball, and senior Alexander White's (West Hartford) insurance run-scoring triple.
Coleman, White, sophomore Jack Rich (Meriden) and freshman Dean Slavin (Tappan, NY) all contributed two hits to Eastern's 12-hit attack, with Coleman scoring twice. Sophomore catcher Eric Jaillet (Ivoryton) drove in two runs with a fourth-inning single and came around to score in Eastern's three-run fourth inning that vaulted it into a 4-2 lead. With only five at-bats on his resume entering play, Slavin unloaded his first career home run to account for the first run of the game in the third.
In his first game back from injury after three weeks and in his first career pitching outing, freshman righty Owen Marica (Haddam) -- normally the team's starting third baseman -- pitched one inning to gain his first win. As the fourth of five pitchers, Marica walked one and allowed a hit in the bottom of the seventh before the Warriors rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth. In his staff-leading 13th appearance of the year, senior righty Cole Ogorzalek (Portland) struck out two, walked one and gave up a hit in recording the final six outs for his second save.
Eastern hosts Castleton University in a Little East 11 a.m. doubleheader Saturday.