DANBURY, CT – Senior right-handed flamethrower Daniel Hedden (West Cornwall, CT) tossed eight innings while scattering just four hits and striking out four to lead the Western Connecticut State University baseball squad to a 9-1 victory over visiting non-conference opponent John Jay College on Thursday night at Westside Field. Senior Frank Vartuli (Westport, CT) and junior Joe Daigle (Southington, CT) each pounded out a pair of hits, while senior Dave Palladino (Southington, CT) notched a game-high three RBI's for the Colonials.
"We had an outstanding effort from Hedden today. He threw 115 pitches and had great command of his fastball against a good hitting team in John Jay. Our defense did a great job tracking down some tough fly balls too," said WestConn head coach John Susi following the win.
Today also marked one year since teammate Michael DeAngelo tragically passed away. "He was in our thoughts today and the team wanted to win for him tonight," said Susi.
The Colonials erupted for four runs in the bottom of the first. Junior catcher Zach Sagar (Trumbull, CT) drew a bases loaded walk, scoring junior outfielder Clete LoRusso (New Milford, CT) – who led off the frame with a single to center. Shortly thereafter, Palladino capped the spurt, driving in a pair of runs with a single.
The hosts added a pair of runs in the third before adding another trio in the fourth, extending the advantage to 9-0. Sagar scored on a wild pitch before LoRusso belted an RBI sacrifice fly in the third. The fourth was highlighted by a Vartuli double to left center, scoring senior shortstop EJ Lavoie (East Granby, CT) – who led off with a single.
Sophomore Jurrel Diaz (Staten Island, NY) drove the lone run in for the Bloodhounds when he doubled to right to score a runner who reached on an error to begin the top of the seventh.
With the win, the Colonials improved to 12-14 overall while John Jay dropped to 10-16. WestConn returns to action at Little East Conference nemesis UMass-Dartmouth for a doubleheader slated to begin on Saturday at Noon.