Chaffee, DeDonato Clutch as Baseball Outlasts Fitchburg State in 11 Innings

Benjamin Chaffee

Northboro, MA --- Junior Benjamin Chaffee (Franklin, MA) ended the game with a three-run shot to left to lift WPI to a 6-4, 11-inning victory over visiting Fitchburg State Thursday at the New England Baseball Complex.

The Engineers (8-10) snap a five-game skid while the Falcons move to 5-8-1.

Down a run with one out in the bottom of the 11th, freshman Jordan DeDonato (Danvers, MA) doubled and moved to third on a single by junior Austin Lindner (W. Windsor, NJ), before both came home thanks to Chaffee's first collegiate home run. Tied at 3-3, The Crimson and Gray were had a chance to get it done in the ninth as DeDonato opened with a double. A ground out moved him to third but a 6-4-3 double play ended the opportunity.

Fitchburg State took the 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th behind a one-out RBI single by sophomore Joshua Macomber (Berkley, MA).

Falcon junior Andrew Curran (Leominster, MA) put the ball in play to begin a sequence that enabled sophomore Brennan Cuddahy (Leominster, MA) to cross home plate for the 1-0 advantage in the first. The Falcons added another in the second thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Macomber.

WPI senior Evan Lacroix (Methuen, MA) tripled in a run before scampering home on a wild pitch to even the game in the third. Two innings later, junior Ryan Tropeano (Pembroke, MA) touched home on a passed ball for the 3-2 Engineer lead. FSU senior Andrew Currie (Quincy, MA) leveled the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth.

Sophomore Tyrone Patterson (Upper Marlboro, MD), Tropeano and DeDonato (2 doubles, 3 RBI) all had a pair of hits for WPI. Lacroix tripled and scored twice as Patterson and Tropeano also stole a base.

Senior Aidan Freeburg (Arlington, MA) picked up the win while junior Dominic Fusco (North Haven, CT) faced the minimum in the fifth, and sophomores Nick Tagaris (New City, NY) and Nick Colucci (Lynnfield, MA) did the same in the eighth and ninth, respectively. In all, nine Engineer pitchers were used in the contest. Defensively, sophomore David Larson (Port Tobacco, MD) and junior Alex Palermo (Chelmsford, MA) teamed up for a pair of double plays.

FSU sophomore Richard Sharp (Townsend, MA) and the defense kept the Engineers off the bases in the second, fourth, sixth and eighth. DeDonato's first double ended his day, which featured two earned runs on seven hits and one walk, and four strikeouts. Junior Andrew Dunn (Danvers, MA) shouldered the decision for the guests.

Junior Alexander Bissanti (Franklin, MA) led the way with three hits followed by Macomber (double, 2 RBI) and Curran with two apiece. Currie stole a base, and was credited with a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. Cuddahy, sophomore Brandon Lefebvre (Leominster, MA) and Bissanti turned the double play to send the game into extras.

WPI will be the road team versus Emerson in a NEWMAC crossover set Saturday at the NEBC. First pitch is set for noon. Fitchburg State begins MASCAC action Friday with two versus Mass Maritime at Haverhill High's Trinity Stadium beginning at 1pm.