Falcons open MASCAC play with a pair of losses to Vikings
SALEM, Mass. (March 29, 2014) – Salem State swept both games of a doubleheader against Fitchburg State in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
In the first game Ryan Hyjek (Tolland, Conn.) threw a complete game two-hit shutout to lead the Vikings to a 4-0 victory. In game two, Matt Burgess (Kingston, Mass.) hit a bases loaded double to propel Salem State to a 6-4 victory.
The Vikings are now 9-10 on the season and 2-0 in the MASCAC. Fitchburg State slips to 12-5 and 0-2 in conference.
Hyjek went seven innings and struck out three with just two walks to improve to 3-1 on the season. Richard Fecteau (Newbury, Mass.) put the Vikings on the board in the first when he smashed a double to right to drive in Kevin Carens (Northborough, Mass.), who led off the game with a walk. Salem State added to its lead in the second on a run-producing single by Ethan Trowt (Beverly, Mass.) that plated Ryan Beliveau (Lynn, Mass.) to make it 2-0.
The middle innings were filled with defensive gems for both teams, as Fitchburg State starter Joe St. Hilaire (Chelmsford, Mass.) settled in and matched Hyjek with zero's on the scoreboard. Salem State added two insurance runs in the seventh on an in-field single by Alex Toomey (Beverly, Mass.) and another RBI hit by Fecteau.
St. Hilaire (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as he allowed four runs on nine hits with a strikeout and two walks.
In game two, Sean Buckland (Lynn, Mass.) pitched a complete game, scattering eight hits and four runs to go with four strikeouts to up his record to 2-0. Falcons' starter Kyle Cutler (Lancaster, Mass.) pitched well, but took the loss, allowing five runs on three hits with four strikeouts that dips his record to 2-3 on the year.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Steven Drury Jr. (Ashburnham, Mass.) broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to give Fitchburg State a 1-0 lead. However, in the next inning Salem State broke the game open with a five-run inning. After two hit batters and a double by Trowt, Fecteau reached first on an error to score the first run. Burgess then provided the big blow, a bases-clearing double that pushed the Vikings' lead to 4-1. Brett Cahill (Gloucester, Mass.) knocked in Burgess, and Salem State suddenly owned a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom; of the sixth, trailing 6-1, Drury Jr. added a run scoring single to cut the deficit to 6-2. The Falcons tried to make a charge in the seventh, as Clayton Beaulieu (Chicopee, Mass.) singled in Brendan Cutler (Lancaster, Mass.). David Mason (Leominster, Mass.) then knocked in another run, but Beaulieu was gunned down by centerfielder Trowt to end the game.
Tyler Smith (New Milford, Conn.) finished the game for the Falcons, going two innings with a run allowed on one hit and a walk and strikeout.
Salem State will play at Roger Williams on Tuesday at 3:30 PM, and Fitchburg State will play at Nichols College at 3:00 PM also on Tuesday.