Parke Paces Eastern Connecticut Past Rhode Island College

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- John Parke (Middlefield, Conn.) hit a three-run home run to highlight a five-run fifth inning that snapped a tie and sparked top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University to a 9-3 victory that eliminated third-seeded Rhode Island College from the 2010 Little East Conference baseball tournament Friday morning at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Rhode Island (21-18) ends its season with losses in 11 of its last 15 games while defending tournament champion Eastern (30-11-1) moved into a winners bracket game at 8:30 p.m. Friday night against fourth-seeded UMass Boston. The Warriors have now won at least 30 games for ten straight season and for the 26th time under 42nd-year head coach Bill Holowaty.

Travis Bass (West Hartford, Conn.) tied the game for Eastern by belting a solo home run in the third – his third home run in four games after failing to hit one to that point. Parke then unloaded his fourth of the season when the Warriors batted around and scored five times in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. Batting ninth, Steve Cammuso (Rutland, Mass.) socked his second home run of the season – one of his three hits in the game – a two-run shot in the eighth.

Rhode Island collected 11 hits off winning pitcher Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.)– who won his fifth straight decision after an opening loss – and Evan Chamberlain (Hebron, Conn.) but the Anchormen stranded 11 runners.

Rhode Island took a 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff double by Gary Levesque (East Providence, R.I.) and single with none out by Tim Schabowski (Pascoag, R.I.). Schabowski moved to third on consecutive wild pitches but was stranded there by Schult, who worked out of the jam by getting a line drive to right, a strikeout and ground ball to short.

The Anchormen stranded two runners in the third and left runners on second and third in the fourth after scoring a run when Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, Mass.) lined out to Parke at second. With two out in the fifth, RIC scored again but left a runner at third when Schult picked off a runner at first to end the fifth. Trailing 6-3, RIC left two more aboard in the seventh when Schult induced an inning-ending fly ball with runners at first and third.

Cammuso had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two while Parke finished with three RBI on his home run and Bass had two hits and scored three runs.

Ronnie Bracchi (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) had three hits for Rhode Island, Levesque and Kevin Carey (Wakefield, R.I.) picking up two each.