BOSTON, Mass. – With a three-run bottom of the eighth the top-seeded Beacons of UMass Boston opened the 2018 Little East Conference Tournament with a 7-3 win over the sixth-seeded Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth Wednesday afternoon at Monan Park.
#1 UMass Boston 7, #6 UMass Dartmouth 3
UMass Boston (31-8)
UMass Dartmouth (23-14)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons went to sophomore Joey Rogers (Derby, Mass.) to start to the day on the hill. The lefty pitched six solid innings, but earned the no-decision. Rogers showing a tremendous amount of poise, as he collected a career-high 10 strikeouts before calling it an afternoon in the sixth. Senior closer Bryan Kaufman earned the victory, his first of the year, after not allowing a Corsair run over the final three frames.
The Beacons struck first in the bottom of the second as Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) led off with a double down the left field line. After Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) moved him over with a ground out, Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) drove Fowler in with a base hit to take the 1-0 lead.
In the home half of the third inning, Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) and Dave Murphy (Plymouth, Mass.) got to second and third base without any outs. UMass Dartmouth fought back to get two outs with the bases loaded. Anthony Cecere (Wakefield, Mass.) singled up the middle to drive in Boudrias and give the Beacons a 2-0 advantage.
The Corsairs responded quickly in the top of the fourth with two runs of their own. They scored again in the fifth which gave them the lead, 3-2. Rogers kept his composure; coming back out for the sixth and retiring the side 1-2-3. His day ended after six, with a final line of three earned runs, five hits, three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) entered the game to start the seventh inning. Besides a runner reaching on an error, Kaufman had no trouble with the Corsairs. With time running out, the Beacons offense got going in the home half of the inning.
Herzog came to bat with the bases loaded and went opposite field as he singled to right, tying the game at three. Looking as if though the Corsairs were going to get out the inning allowing just the one run, UMD was bit by the error bug very hard as they tallied three errors, all on attempted double plays. This would give the go-head the opportunity, with Danny Brown driving in the go-head run.
The Beacons then added to their lead in the eighth thanks to a McCormick RBI single which made it 5-3 at the time. Murphy, who reached on an intentional walk accounted for the Beacons sixth run as he scored on a passed ball.
UMB's final run came off the bat of Herzog single and then advanced to second on the Corsairs fourth error on the day. The now four-run lead was all Kaufman as he retired the side in order to give UMB the crucial game one win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Last season the Beacons faced the Corsairs a total of three times in the LEC Tournament, including in the conference title game.
- The Beacons have now won five straight over the Corsairs and are 3-1 in the LEC Tournament play since the 2016 campaign.
- Kaufman allowed just the one hit during his tournament outing, and picked-up right where he left off when he was named the 2016 LEC Tournament MVP
- Herzog finished 3-for-5 with a game-high three RBI
- McCormick was 2-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI
- Fowler had the lone extra base hit, a double, for the Beacons
The UMass Boston Beacons will take on the loser of University of Southern Maine and Rhode Island College at 4:30 tomorrow.