WESTFIELD – Junior utility man Jamie Butler delivered pinch-hit, walk off base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Westfield State a 3-2 walk-off win in the second game as the Owls swept a doubleheader from Bridgewater State by identical 3-2 scores in both games.
Westfield improves to 21-14-1 overall and 10-4 in the MASCAC. With the two wins, the Owls clinched the top seed in the upcoming MASCAC Tournament.
Bridgewater falls to 5-22 on the year and 1-13 in the MASCAC.
The Owls took game one of the double-header led by a strong outing by junior lefty John Gegetskas and a three-run home run blast by catcher Jake Gibb.
Runs were tough to come by in this one as Westfield struck first in the fourth inning after Colin Dunn reached on an error by the pitcher with two outs. Kyle Murphy singled to right field advancing Dunn to third and the Jake Gibb blasted one over the left field fence for the Owls’ only runs of the game.
Bridgewater State was struggling offensively until they had the bases loaded in the sixth inning but Gegetskas got out of the jam after getting a ground out to short.
The Bears would threaten again in the seventh as they put two runners on with a base hit by Dominic Precopio and a walk from Lewls Robinson. The runners would advance a base after a ground out to second base. Precopio scored on a wild pitch and then Robinson scored on an error which should have ended the game. Gegetskas struck out the next batter to put an end to the Bears comeback.
Despite getting the loss, Connor Birch went six innings for the Bears allowing five hits and zero earned runs with four strikeouts.
Gegetskas (7-1) got the win for the Owls as he went seven full innings with one earned run, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Jake Gibb went 1 for 2 and three RBI and one home run.
In game two, the Owls were led by Nate Barnes who threw five strong innings, only allowing two runs on four hits. Barnes also had two strikeouts in the no decision.
Jacob Robbins also threw five solid innings for the Bears only allowing two earned runs on six hits. He had four walks and two strikeouts.
Westfield struck first in this one as well, on a sac fly from John Lippincott, scoring Collin Dunn. The Bears answered quickly with a bases loaded single to right by Dominic Precopio to score two.
The Owls wouldn’t lose their lead for long as Alex Lafayette led off the bottom of the fifth with a bomb over the left field fence to tie it at two.
With the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, Anthony Crowley reached on a lead off walk despite being put out at second on what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt. With runners on first and second, pinch hitter Jamie Butler ripped one down the left field line to walk it off for the Owls. Butler has filled a variety of roles at Westfield, where he has seen time in the infield, as both a starter and closer, and in a limited role with the bat this season is hitting .571 (8-14).
For the Owls, Alex Lafayette went 2 for 4 with a double, a homerun, and one RBI. John Lippincott went 1 for 2 with and RBI and a walk. Butler finished 1 for 1 with the game winning RBI. Nate Marshall threw one inning in relief and got the win for the Owls.
Domonic Precopio went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI for Bridgewater and Colin Josselyn threw an inning and a third and received the loss for the Bears letting up four hits and one earned run.
Westfield’s next game is May 1, against Nichols College in Westfield, Ma at 3:30.
The Owls honored their four seniors between games with the annual “senior day” ceremony. – Story by Mike Witts/Westfield State University Sports Information Intern