BROCKTON, Mass. – In a combined 16 innings lefty's Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) and Patrick Austin (Torrington, Conn.) fanned a total of nine batters, while allowing four hits, all of which were singles, which resulted in no runs against as baseball cruised to a 12-0 game one win in seven innings and a 1-0 game two win Saturday afternoon at Campanelli Stadium in front of their biggest crowd of the 2013 season.
The victories were perhaps two of the most dominant pitching performances that the lefty duo has put together in the month of April. Even more impressive was the fact that Austin, through 7.1 was flirting with perfection.
With the wins UMass improved to 15-17, 7-5 in the Little East Conference, while the Panthers dropped to 17-18, 3-9 in the conference.
After the blowout in game one, which allowed Szatrowski to easily earn his fifth win of the year, Austin had just one run, which was scored in the first inning, supporting him. While most pitchers would beg for more support, the Connecticut native took that very slim lead and ran with it. In order, Austin retired a total of 22 straight batters, coupled with the eight batters Szatrowski retired to close out the opener the lefty's did not allow a combined 30 Panthers batters to reach base in Saturday's twinbill.
Proving to be the deciding factor in game one's seven inning mercy rule victory was a seven-run bottom of the fifth. Going into the inning UMB led 4-0, but that would all change as UMB broke the game wide open on just four hits.
Driving in a pair of runs in the inning was Patrick Murphy (Stamford, Conn.) on a two RBI single which scored Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.) and Ryan Manning (Plainville, Mass.). Senior Matt Consiglio (Southbury, Conn.) would also plate two runners on his lone hit of the game, a two RBI single to center field, which allowed Murphy and Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) to make their way around the bases.
After the seven-run fifth, UMB would put-up one more in the sixth to clinch the mercy rule victory. Ezold proved to be the Beacons big-bat in game one as he finished 3-for-3 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored. Almost every player in the Beacons line-up would record at-least one hit or at-least one run scored. Jamill Moquette (Boston, Mass.) and Ezold crushed their fifth and seventh doubles of the year respectively.
Szatrowski allowed just two hits in the win, and walked one. He fanned five Panthers and hit just one other. Chris Gilchrist was handed the loss, his third of the year, after surrendering four runs, three earns, on six hits. The final three Plymouth pitchers would surrender a combined eight runs, all of which were earned, on six hits over 2.2.
The nightcap was a much closer affair between the two squads as UMass managed four hits, while the Panthers recorded just two, both in the eighth to break-up the Austin perfect game bid.
In the bottom of the first, Jose Pena (Boston, Mass.) would reach base on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning. Consiglio would then drive in his teammate on a RBI double down the left field line.
Outside of the run in the first, the Panthers Rew Wilson was just as solid as Austin as he held the Beacons silent for seven straight innings. Through eight innings, Wilson allowed the one run on two hits and struck out five.
From there Austin did the rest as he put-up zero after zero. Each time he returned to the dugout the crowd became more anxious with Austin flirting with history right in front of their very eyes. But like all good things, sometimes they must come to an end and that was the case in the eighth inning when Dave Hall hit a single to right center, ending Austin's bid.
Now with their first runner on base in almost 10 complete innings, Austin had to settle down to keep the Panthers off the scoreboard. Hall would move over to second on a Dave Tammaro single through the left side putting runners at first and second with one out on the scoreboard.
With the tying run in scoring position, Austin turned to his defense which had backed him time-after-time all afternoon and on the very first pitch he got the Panthers to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
After UMB failed to produce in the bottom half of the inning, Austin returned to the hill and went on to retire the side in order with the first two outs coming on back-to-back K's.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow when they travel to Endicott College a noon non-conference game.