BOSTON, Mass.—Senior Sal Frosceno's walk-off single in the eleventh inning lifted #5 UMass Boston baseball to a win in an instant classic against #22 University of Southern Maine Tuesday afternoon.
#5 UMass Boston 4, #22 Southern Maine 3
(UMass Boston 23-5, Little East 7-0)
(Southern Maine 16-7, Little East 5-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In a matchup of the consensus two teams in New England, #5 UMass Boston and #22 Southern Maine went back-and-forth at Monan Park. Tuesday's side had a little bit of everything, with the game starting as a pitcher's duel, both sides coming up with some key defensive plays and each side getting timely hits from unexpected sources.
The Beacons earned their 12th-consecutive win thanks to a two-out rally against Huskies closer Jake Dexter. Sophomore Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.), who came on as a pinch runner in the ninth, beat out an outfield single, stole second and then beat the throw home on Frosceno's single through the left side.
The run locked up the third win of the season for UMass Boston closer Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.). The reigning LEC Pitcher of the week went the final 3.1 innings and allowed just two hits and two walks, while striking out one.
Dexter took the loss after allowing one earned run over 3.2 innings. The reigning LEC Player of the Week struck out four and gave up five hits.
Tuesday's game began as a battle between sophomores Joey Rogers (Dighton, Mass.) and Ben Lambert. The pair traded zero's over the first three frames and neither sophomore let the opposing high-powered offense get going.
Rogers, who beat Southern Maine at Monan Park last year, allowed five hits and two earned runs over six innings. He tacked on six strikeouts in the outing.
Lambert was even tougher. He was nearly unhittable through the first five innings, before giving up three earned runs in the sixth. The Assumption College (DII) transfer struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed just four hits over seven innings of work.
Southern Maine got off to a tremendous start in the contest. Rogers walked the opening batter and allowed a single through the right side to Dexter to put runners on the corners with no outs. After a Dylan Hapworth strikeout, Devin Warren lined a ball down the third-base line but was robbed by Beacons' third baseman Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.). Rogers induced a groundout to short to keep the Huskies off the board.
After stranding two more baserunners in the second, Southern Maine got on the board in the fourth. Andrew Hillier opened the inning by crushing a triple to dead-center-that was inches away from clearing the high wall. Andrew Olszak followed with an RBI groundout to second to put the Huskies ahead 1-0.
Hillier, who was a thorn in the Beacons' side all day long, made it 2-0 in the sixth. Hapworth opened the inning with a single and came all the way home on a Hiller double that just got past the diving Beacon's first baseman.
With the bases loaded and two down, Jason Komulainen grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to avoid any further damage.
UMass Boston immediately made Southern Maine play.
Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) opened the inning with a bloop double to center that bounced out of the glove of a diving Devin Warren. Riley followed with a ground-ball double past the third baseman that easily scored Huegi. Lambert walked the next two batters to load the bases and Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) followed with a deep sacrifice fly to the triangle in right-center.
With two outs and the runners still at first and second, Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) singled through the left side and Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) beat the throw home from the left fielder for a 3-2 edge.
Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) came on to start the seventh for the Beacons. He retired the Huskies in order in the seventh, before running into trouble in the eighth.
Hapworth opened the inning by being hit by a pitch and moved to second on a sac bunt. Hiller tied the game with his third-straight hit, a line-drive RBI single over the head of the Beacons' second baseman.
With two on and two outs, Tramondozzi relieved Kaufman and induced a fly out to right.
UMass Boston threatened to walk-off in the ninth inning. Boudrias came through with a singled to right, but Dexter induced a 4-3 double play against Frosceno.
Both sides had chances to win the game in both extra innings.
The Huskies put two on with one out in the top of the tenth, only for the Beacons to turn an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
In the bottom of the inning, Riley singled with two outs and easily would have scored on Jack Harrington's (Barnstable, Mass.) double to wall, but the double bounced over the wall to keep Riley at third. Dexter settled down and induced a ground ball back to the mound to extend the game.
The Huskies put two on with one out again in the 11th but the Beacons defense stymied them on back-to-back plays. Zach Quintal appeared to hit an RBI single up the middle, but Huegi ran down the grounder behind the second base, spun and threw out the trail runner at second base for a huge second out. With runners on the corners, Dexter put down a squeeze bunt with two down, only for Tramondozzi to barehand the bunt and fire a strike to get Dexter at first.
UMass Boston finally broke through in the bottom of the 11thto earn their first extra-innings win of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win, UMass Boston moves to 7-0 in LEC play for the first time in program history. The Beacons are two games ahead of both Southern Maine and Rhode Island College, at the midway point of the LEC season.
- UMass Boston is now 4-0 all-time against Southern Maine at Monan Park and has won five of six against the Huskies. Despite trailing the all-time series 43-16, UMass Boston holds a 16-14 edge over the Huskies since May 2006.
- Boudrias and Riley led the Beacons with two hits each. Riley added a run scored and RBI, while Boudrias had one RBI.
- Hiller went an impressive 3-4 with a run scored, two RBI and an intentional walk in the game. He finished a home run shy of the cycle.
- Tramondozzi tied the program record for career pitching appearances by coming on in the eighth. He and Daniel Heefner ('14) both have pitched in 59 games as a Beacon.
- The Beacons extended their winning streak to 12 games in a row, while Southern Maine's streak was snapped at nine-straight. With a win on Wednesday, UMass Boston will tie the program record for most wins in a row (13). The Beacons have posted 13-game win streaks in each of the past two seasons.
- UMass Boston used 16 players in the contest, while Southern Maine used 13 different players.
#5 UMass Boston will host Salem State University on Wednesday at 3 p.m.