Kevin Kwedor tosses first perfect game in Massachusetts Maritime history
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- Sophomore lefthander Kevin Kwedor threw the first perfect game in the 42-year history of Massachusetts Maritime on Monday afternoon, as he retired all 21 batters he faced and struck out six in a 4-0 seven-inning victory against MCLA in the opening game of a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader played at Commodore Hendy Field. In the nightcap, seniors Bob Lee and Matt Pelletier each rapped out three hits as the Buccaneers completed the twinbill sweep with a 7-2 triumph.
Kwedor threw 60 of his 89 pitches for strikes and went to three 3-2 counts in the contest for the host Buccaneers (13-14, 5-7 MASCAC), including a 3-0 count to junior Chase Preite of the visiting Trailblazers (3-20, 1-11 MASCAC) in the top of the fourth, before he struck out. A diving catch by Lee on a lineout by MCLA senior Jared Gersch to lead off the game was followed two batters by a stab at first base by junior Greg Downs on a Preite liner, as Kwedor induced seven groundouts and eight fly ball outs in his gem to improve to 2-2 on the season. The perfect game was the sixth no-hitter in Massachusetts Martime history and the first since junior T.J. Notarangelo turned the trick for the Buccaneers on April 14, 2013 in a 7-0 victory at Fitchburg State.
“Kevin was able to mix up his fastball and his off speed pitches very well from the beginning of the game, and he had great confidence in his curve ball to throw in any situation,” Massachusetts Maritime head coach Bob Corradi, who has been the only mentor in the program’s 42-year history, said of Kwedor’s performance. “He was able to bear down in key spots and let his defense take care of the rest, and he was pitching for most of the day with just a two-run lead. It was a very memorable performance and a special day of baseball to be a part of.”
The Buccaneers got the only runs Kwedor would need in the second when junior Bobby Rosano reached on an infield single, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a double by freshman Aidan Desrosiers, who then came around on fellow freshman Terrence Mudie’s RBI single up the middle. Massachusetts Maritime tacked on a pair of insurance tallies in the sixth when freshmen pinch runner Jonah Olsen scored on the 100th career hit by Rosano, who then scored on Desrosiers’ RBI single. Rosano, Desrosiers and Mudie each rapped out two of the hosts’ nine hits in Kwedor’s perfect game, as freshman Matt Clark suffered the setback on the mound for MCLA in going the distance to fall to 1-2 on the season.
Senior Ben Maher’s RBI single in the bottom of the first of the nightcap staked the Buccaneers to an early lead, but the Trailblazers evened matters in the third on a run-scoring single off the bat of junior Mike Sullivan. Massachusetts Maritime took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double by Pelletier, and the hosts added two more runs on an RBI single by sophomore Everett Walsh and a fielder’s choice from Desrosiers. MCLA crept back to within 4-2 in the fourth on freshman Ryan Ouimet’s sacrifice fly, but the Buccaneers iced their triumph with three more runs in the bottom of the inning on Maher’s RBI single, Mudie’s sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice tally by sophomore Michael Lenane that closed out the scoring.
Maher added two hits as part of an 11-hit attack in the nightcap for Massachusetts Maritime, as sophomore Kyle Kennedy went the distance in allowing an earned run and fanning seven to improve to 4-0 on the season for the Buccaneers. Junior Alon Willing and sophomore Ryan Shook each had two of MCLA’s nine hits in the second game setback, as junior Tyler Benoit went the first five frames for the Trailblazers in falling to 0-3 on the season.