By Adam Levine
By Riley Crowell
The Framingham State Rams finished up a six-game stretch that lasted April 14-19, facing off against conference opponents MCLA and Salem State and nonconference Lasell.
The Rams started off the stretch with an away game versus the MCLA Trailblazers ending in a 9-6 Framingham victory April 14.
Framingham’s left fielder, Ryan Boyle, led the way with a game-high three hits and three RBIs, collecting RBI singles in both the first and fourth innings.
Boyle earned MASCAC Player of the Week April 17. He said, “I mean, it's nice and all, but I'm more worried about what the team's doing than the personal aspect.”
Framingham’s shortstop, Steven Burbank, and second baseman, Cam Gilroy, also contributed multi-hit games, combining for five hits and three RBIs.
On the mound, Ram relief pitcher Anthony Panza closed out the victory for Framingham, striking out two Trailblazer batters and only allowing one run in three innings pitched.
The Rams headed back to Bowditch Field for a conference doubleheader with the MCLA Trailblazers April 15.
Framingham started off the first game of the doubleheader with an RBI single by Boyle to take an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, Ram center fielder Shane Costello hit an RBI single to extend Framingham’s lead to 2-0.
The Rams’ offense exploded in the fifth inning, scoring four runs on four hits to inflate their lead to 6-0.
Framingham’s starting pitcher, James Gilleran, shined on the mound, throwing a complete game and striking out 10 of the 32 batters he faced.
MCLA hit a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning, but Gilleran and the Rams’ defense closed out Framignahm’s 6-4 victory by securing outs against the following three batters.
Gilleran said, “I just wanted to keep throwing strikes - not let anyone on base.
“I left the slider over the plate and he hit it well, but we got the win and that's really all that matters,” he added.
In the second half of the doubleheader, Burbank and Boyle hit RBIs to give Framingham a 2-0 lead.
The Trailblazers’ offense answered in the fourth and fifth innings, knocking in five runs, most notably from a three-run home run in the fifth.
The Rams battled their way back to an even 5-5 scoreline by the end of the sixth inning.
A trio of sacrifice flies by Burbank, Boyle, and Rams’ third baseman, Matthew Shaver, fueled Framingham’s comeback.
MCLA regained the lead in the seventh inning on a two-RBI double, giving them a 7-5 edge over the Rams.
In the bottom of the seventh, the first four Framingham batters of the inning reached base by either a walk, error, or hit by pitch.
The Trailblazers’ pitcher hit two more Framingham batters with pitches, bringing home the Rams’ game-tying and game-winning runs.
Framingham’s 8-7 victory over MCLA capped a three-game MASCAC conference sweep.
Head Coach Sean Callahan said, “Sweeping in this league is very hard as you can see from today, so we were super fortunate to come away with it.”
The Rams traveled to take on the Salem State Vikings in a conference doubleheader April 17.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Framingham’s offense started hot. Costello walked, Boyle doubled, and designated hitter Caleb Hendrix knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Neither team scored any runs for the next four innings. Framingham clung to a 1-0 lead entering the sixth inning.
In the sixth, an RBI walk by Rams’ catcher, Ryan Plocker, and an RBI single by Costello pushed two more runs across the plate for Framingham, increasing their lead to 3-0.
The Rams kept scoring in the seventh inning. A run scored on a Salem error, combined with a two-RBI single, gave Framingham a 6-0 lead.
The Rams’ starting pitcher, Cameron Prescott, was lights out against the Vikings, allowing zero runs and striking out three batters in his six innings pitched.
Prescott said, “I control the game when I’m on the mound. I just have to stay collected and focus on getting the next out.”
Framingham’s solid offense and incredible pitching secured their 6-0 victory.
The second game of the Rams’ doubleheader with the Vikings didn’t go quite as smoothly.
Salem capitalized on early hits and walks given up by Framingham’s pitching and held a 3-0 lead after the second inning.
Burbank kept the Rams in the game with an RBI single in the third inning, bringing Framingham back within two runs.
A sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the sixth inning for the Vikings extended their lead to 5-1.
The Rams rallied in the seventh inning, a Gilleran RBI double and Boyle RBI single cut the deficit to two runs, but Framingham ultimately fell 5-3.
Framingham returned home to Bowditch Field for a nonconference matchup with the Lasell University Lasers April 19.
Framingham used eight different pitchers during their battle with Lasell.
Callahan said this decision came down to “just the way that our schedule is set up.”
He added, “Today’s one of those days where everyone’s got to contribute, and you know, it worked out.”
Burbank and Hendrix led Framingham’s offense, combining for seven hits in their 10 total at bats.
Burbank got on base with a single in the first inning and later rounded the plate to add to Framingham’s early 3-0 lead.
His RBI single in the sixth inning got him on base, which allowed him to score on a ground out from Boyle. Burbank contributed another two runs in a three-run inning for the Rams.
Burbank said, “It’s more about just moving the lineup for my team - doing what we need to do.”
Among Hendrix’s hits was a two-run RBI in the eighth inning. His contribution to Framingham’s four-run inning responded to Lasell’s three-run seventh inning and secured the 11-7 victory for the Rams.
Hendrix said, “I was on deck, I knew the guy’s throwing a lot of fastballs.”
He added he had to “trust myself to put a good swing on it - happened to find the gap.”
The Rams beat the Lasers 11-7 after beating them 10-5 a week earlier. Callahn said, “We kind of kept our same consistent approach.
“I trust in our hitters and in our pitchers to throw strikes,” he added.
The Rams now hold an overall record of 18-10 and a conference record of 8-3, placing them second in the MASCAC standings.
Framingham travels to Worcester State for another MASCAC matchup April 21.