New London, CT --- Two hits and three RBI by senior Ed Sella (Silver Spring, MD) led host Coast Guard to an 8-6 win over WPI in the first of a three-game series at Nitchman Field on Friday afternoon. Coast Guard improves to 7-4 overall and 2-1 in the NEWMAC, while the Engineers fall to 5-10 and 1-3 in conference action.
Coast Guard trailed 3-0 until the bottom of the fifth when three walks and three hits gave the Bears a 4-3 advantage. Sella and Cameron Carroll (Reno, NV) led off with a single each, followed by two walks that plated a run. The Engineers traded a run for a double play in hopes of squashing the Coast Guard surge, but an error and another walk led to Coast Guard taking the lead.
The Bears erupted again in the bottom of the seventh scoring four additional runs. After a series of walks, Mike Massaro (Sewell, NJ) was hit by a pitch advancing the lead runner to home. With the bases loaded, Sella doubled to left center driving in three runs for Coast Guard.
WPI attempted to cut the deficit when a single from Shane Sampson (Worcester, MA) started an eighth inning push. Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) reached second on an error that plated two runs, to whittle the lead 8-5.
D'Ambrosio and second baseman Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) combined for three quick outs leading WPI into its last chance at bat. Despite a single from D.J. Oullette (Watertown, CT) and a double from Sampson, the Engineers were unable to close the gap closer than two runs. Sampson finished the day with two hits on five at-bats.
WPI held their only lead of the game after a double from Oullette and Sean Kelly's(Shrewsbury, MA) single which resulted in a pair of Coast Guard errors and a 2-0 Engineer advantage. Oullette led WPI with four hits and an RBI on five at-bats, while Kelly posted two hits on the day.
Nate Toll (Olney, MD) got the win pitching for six innings, allowing just three unearned runs on seven hits. The senior recorded five strikeouts to up his record to 2-0 for the Bears. Senior Tyler Vieira (Dumfries, VA) worked the ninth and allowed a pair of hits and WPI's first earned run of the game to pick up his third save of the season.
WPI's Andrew Portera (Alpharetta, GA) threw for the first five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and striking out two. Portera is now 1-3 on the year.
WPI and Coast Guard face off again tomorrow for a doubleheader at Nitchman Field beginning at noon. WPI will be the home team in both games.