Fitchburg, MA --- Cody Bamforth (Vernon, CT) belted a three-run homer and David Mason (Leominster, MA) went 5-for-5 as Fitchburg State defeated WPI 7-4 Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference baseball contest. With the win, the Falcons level their record at 10-10-1 on the season while the Engineers slip to 9-20.
FSU, playing in Fitchburg as the road team, jumped out to a 6-0 advantage with a pair of three-run innings in the opening two frames. The Falcons loaded the bases in the first inning on a pair of walks by Jeff Boice (Glastonbury, CT) and Pierce Hans (Washington Township, NJ) sandwiched around a bunt single by Randy Ortiz (Danielson, CT). Joseph Balboni (Townsend, MA) delivered a one-out RBI single to shortstop before Ortiz and Hans both came plateward on a wild pitch and a subsequent error.
An inning after using small ball to produced three runs, the Falcons got three more off of one swing of the bat by Bamforth. Alex Heroux (Leominster, MA) led off with a walk and two batters later Ortiz singled to center before the senior smashed an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left for his first homer of the season.
FSU pushed its advantage to 7-0 in the fourth when Mason ripped a single to center to plate Hans with an unearned run.
WPI started a comeback bid in the fifth as Matt Blakeman (Bedford, NH) led off with a single and Cody Holmes (Plymouth, MA) followed with a walk. Freshman Vinny D'Ambrosio (Mahopac, NY) flared a double down the left field line for his first career extra base hit to chase home Blakeman. After Holmes scored on a wild pitch, Sean Kelly (Shrewsbury, MA) brought home Holmes with a two-strike RBI ground out. Fitchburg starter Javier Lozada (New Bedford, MA) avoided further damage by inducing a pair of fly outs to center around a walk to Shane Sampson (Worcester, MA).
The teams traded zeros for the next three innings before the Engineers tried one last surge in the bottom of the ninth. After a Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) one-out walk, a Sampson hit-by-pitch and a wild pitch, D.J. Ouellette (Watertown, CT) knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to center. Fitchburg reliever Zachary Bombria (Bolton, CT) got the final out via a strikeout to secure the victory for the Falcons.
Lozada went seven innings, scattering nine hits and punching out five while improving to 3-1 on the season. Miles Schuler (Murrieta, CA) (1-3) shouldered the loss for WPI despite registering a career-best seven strikeouts while David Trujillo (Sutton, MA) fanned five in four shutout innings of relief.
In addition to Mason's five hits, Ortiz and Balboni tallied multiple hits for the Falcons. Blakeman equaled his career-high with four hits (4-for-4) for the Crimson and Gray while Vincent Tavernelli (Plymouth, MA) went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Fitchburg hosts Elms Thursday at 3:30pm while WPI returns to action Saturday with a noon doubleheader at Brandeis.