RIC sweeps Eastern Connecticut
Allaire breaks Anchormen hit record in pair of upsets
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Senior shortstop Kyle Allaire tied the Rhode Island College record with two hits in a 12-7 game one victory, then led off the top of the sixth in game two with a single to take sole possession of the milestone in an 8-0 shutout, as the Anchormen swept Eastern Connecticut in Little East Conference action played on Saturday afternoon.
The Anchormen (20-11, 7-3 LEC) reached the 20-win milestone for the seventh consecutive season and remain within striking distance of first place Keene State in the league with four conference contests left to play. Both RIC and Southern Maine are tied for second with 7-3 LEC records. The Warriors (22-8, 6-4 LEC) dropped from second to fourth in the losses.
Allaire entered Saturday's action needing two knocks to tie Mike Naylor's previous high mark of 190 hits. He tied the record with a single in the seventh inning of game one as part of a 2-for-4 performance that included two runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base.
In game two, Allaire registered a walk and two flyouts before coming to bat to start the sixth frame. He ripped a single to center field for the record and added another hit in the seventh as part of a 2-for-4, two-run effort.
The Anchormen have bounced back in league competition since losing two games to the Owls last Saturday, taking down UMass-Dartmouth 13-3 on Tuesday before heading into Saturday's matchup with the Warriors.
In the opener, RIC struck first as Allaire walked, stole second and later reached third before coming home on a sophomore designated hitter Alex Verrecchia sacrifice fly to center field.
The Warriors struck back against sophomore starter C.J. Tsoumakas in the home half of the frame to take a 2-1 lead on a home run.
A four-run second put the visitors on top for good as senior second baseman Joan Mustafa reached and later scored on an error, catcher J.P. Stone hit a sacrifice fly, senior left fielder Brent Hopkins brought in one with a single and Verrecchia doubled in another.
The hosts struck for two more runs in the fourth to pull within one at 5-4, but RIC put across one in the sixth and three apiece in both the seventh and eighth to seal the win.
In the sixth, junior center fielder Kevin Carey tripled and scored on a Stone RBI single. In the seventh, Verrecchia walked and later scored on an error, then Allaire brought in a pair with his record-tying knock.
In the eighth, senior center fielder Victor Baez entered the game as a pinch runner and scored on a wild pitch and Mustafa doubled in a pair. The Warriors pushed across three in the eighth, but senior reliever Mike DeWald hurled a scoreless ninth.
Tsoumakas earned his third win (3-4), allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits to go along with three walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
In game two, junior pitcher David Hoey was brilliant, hurling a complete-game shutout to pick up the win (4-1). He surrendered nine hits, walked one and struck out three in nine innings of work.
Rhode Island College quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first as two runs came across on an error and Mustafa contributed an RBI single.
In the second, Hopkins doubled in a run and Mustafa knocked in another an inning later. In the fourth, Stone walked and later scored on a passed ball to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.
In the eighth, Stone doubled in a run. In the top of the ninth, Mustafa tripled and come home on junior third baseman Cody Ortega's RBI single.
Mustafa led the way for the Anchormen in the two victories, going 5-for-9 with three runs scored, four RBI, a double, a triple and a pair of stolen bases. Allaire went 4-for-8 with four runs scored and two RBI. Hopkins went 4-for-10 with a double and two RBI. Verrecchia scored three runs and knocked in two.