MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Chris Thomson (Montville,
Conn.) triple and homered and drove in four runs to highlight a
15-hit attack as No. 1-seeded and defending champion Eastern
Connecticut State University downed No. 6 University of Southern
Maine, 10-2, in the opening game of the 2010 Little East Conference
baseball tournament Thursday at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
Ranked 16th nationally, Eastern (29-11) scored four times in the bottom of the first inning and after Southern Maine (19-20-1), then tacked on four more in the eighth to break the game open. Eastern senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield, Conn.) allowed nine hits and both Southern Maine runs over the first eight innings to post his fifth win against a loss this year. The win was Eastern’s third in four days over the Huskies. This past Sunday, Eastern swept USM at Gorham, Maine to earn the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Travis Bass (West Hartford, Conn.) hit a two-run home run in the first inning and Thomson, batting seventh, Thomson tripled in Eastern’s final run of the inning. Thomson also had an RBI single in the seventh and belted a two-run home run in the eighth.
Southern Maine lefty Mark Schmidt (Gorham, Maine) was lifted after facing only four batters, the first three of who reached safely and scored in the first. Musson struck out three and walked two in bouncing back from his only loss of the season in his most recent start May 6 at Wheaton College.
Batting ninth in the order, Eastern’s Steve Cammuso (Rutland, Mass.) matched Thomson with three hits for Eastern while Melvin Castillo (Danbury, Conn.) drove in two runs with a single in the sixth and a triple in the eighth. The Huskies got six hits but no RBI and only one run scored from its top two hitters in the lineup, Tucker White (Deerfield, N.H.) and Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, Conn.), Nick Grady (Whitefield, Maine) drove in two runs with two hits. He singled in USM’s two runs in the eighth.
In the LEC tournament, Eastern leads the series against Southern Maine, 9-5, having won nine of the last 11 after the Huskies won the first three. Southern Maine has won only two of its last 10 games (2-7-1). Last year’s top tournament seed, Southern Maine is looking for its first LEC tournament championship since 1999.