MANSFIELD, Conn. – April 9, 2008 - Sophomore All-America Melvin Castillo hit a grand slam on a two-strike pitch in the fifth inning and junior All-America Shawn Gilblair had three hits and scored a run upon his return from an injury as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team posted a 10-5 non-conference victory over Springfield College Wednesday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.
A winner of three straight and four of its last five, Eastern (13-9) never trailed in the game, collecting 15 hits and breaking open a one-run game when Castillo launched his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence with none out and the bases loaded in the fifth. No. 9 hitter Andrew Magliola and leadoff hitter John Parke singled to open the inning and a walk to Ismael Bolorin loaded the bases and spelled the end of Springfield starting righty Travis Turgeon (Norwich, Conn.). Facing reliever Justin O’Brien (Norfolk, Mass.), Castillo drove an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left field – the 19th home run of his two-year career.
Parke extended his hitting streak to 15 games as one of three hitters with three hits for Eastern. In addition to Parke – who leads the Warriors with 11 multiple-hit games – Magliola had his first career three-hit game, and Gilblair added three hits after returning to the lineup, after missing six games with a hamstring pull. Parke also scored three runs and stole a base.
Eastern freshman Andrew Dewing had his third straight multiple-hit game and freshman Pat Smith matched him with two hits. Batting eighth, Smith drove in three runs with a two-run double down the left field line that snapped a 1-1 tie in the third inning, and also plated a run in the seventh with a two-out opposite-field single to right.
In his seventh appearance, sophomore lefty Wes Dutton gained his first career win in his first decision. The third of five Eastern pitchers, Dutton allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings while fanning three without a walk.
Trailing 5-2 in the fifth, Springfield had five straight hits and scored two runs to start the inning and chase Eastern’s Ronnie Newkirk in favor of Dutton. Dutton got a force out and strikeout to end the inning, and Castillo hit his grand slam in the bottom of the inning to push Eastern’s lead to 9-4.
Springfield, which lost for the fourth straight time to Eastern and for the 25th time in this 33-game series, collected 12 hits. No. 3 hitter Casey Federico (Agawam, Mass.) had four straight hits after flying out in his first at-bat. Federico drove in his team’s first run with a two-out single in the third, singled and scored in the fifth, doubled with two out in the sixth, and singled leading off the ninth.
The Pride returns to action on Thursday with a non-conference game versus Endicott slated for 4:00 pm.