CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A crucial error in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the 22nd/23rd ranked Beacons the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run, as baseball rallied to earn a 4-3 win over #18/18 Webster University on the first day of the 2019 College World Series at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
#22/23 UMass Boston 4, #18/18 Webster University 3
UMass Boston (36-12)
Webster University (37-12)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In what turned out to be a pitcher's duel between Fernando Burgos (Hyde Park, Mass.), and Matt Mulhearn, the Beacons scored the crucial run on a wild sequence of events. In the bottom of the eighth, Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) led off the inning and reached on a hit by pitch. Anthony Cecere (Wakefield, Mass.) would then force an error by the Webster as he laid down a sac-bunt with two strikes.
With runners on first and second, the Gorlocks tried to get the lead runner at third on a bunt attempt by Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.). They managed to field the ball cleanly, but would throw it into foul territory allowing Ryan Leung (Brookline, Mass.), who pinch ran for Boudrias to score the crucial run. Cecere initially came home but had to return to the third when the umpires ruled the play dead, putting runners on second and third with no outs on the scoreboard. The Gorlocks would get their first out of the day on a short flyout to left field.
Cecere tried to score UMB's fifth run but was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice. Webster got their third out on a ground out to the pitcher to keep the deficit at one.
Friday's win advances the Beacons in the winner's bracket. They will now face top-seeded Chapman University tomorrow at 2:15 pm (EST) with a spot in the championship game of Pod A on the line.
In the ninth, things got a little interesting as senior closer Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) tried to close out the crucial win. After getting the first batter he faced to flyout, Kyler Kent earned the walk to represent the tying run at first base. Garrett Davis, who pinch ran for Kent, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then to third on a ground out to first baseman Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.). With two outs on the board and the tying run just 90 feet away, Joe Swanson ripped a line drive that would have easily scored his teammate. However, the line shot was grabbed by Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) sealing the win for the Beacons.
Webster struck first in Friday's CWS game as Aaron Hopp drove in the first run of the day on a groundout to second base. The Beacons responded in the bottom half of the inning with a Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) RBI single to left field, which scored McCormick.
An RBI double and groundout to the second baseman in the fourth inning gave the Gorlocks their second and third runs of the contest. UMB then made it a one-run affair in the sixth on an Boudrias RBI single to center field, that barely scored Josh Lopez (New Haven, Conn.) from second. Huegi tied the game at 3-3 in the next inning on a huge single to right field, which scored Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.).
BY THE NUMBERS
- Friday's win marked the first time in program history that UMass Boston earned a win on the first day of the College World Series
- The win was just the second ever for the Beacons at the CWS; They defeated Wheaton College (MA) in an elimination game at the 2017 CWS
- This marks the third trip for the Beacons to the CWS (2017 and 2010)
- The win went to Tramondozzi who improved to 4-2 on the year and moved into a tie for second-place in program history with his 17th career win
- Burgos went seven complete and allowed three runs on five hits and had five strikeouts and just one walk. UMass Boston is 12-1 in his starts this season
- The Beacons finished the win with eight hits, with Boudrias going 2-for-3 with a double and McCormick adding two hits in four at-bats
- Friday's contest marked just the second meeting between UMB and Webster; The two teams played each other earlier this season in Florida with the Gorlocks earning a 6-4 win
- All-time UMass Boston is now 2-4 at the College World Series and 20-9 in NCAA Tournament play
- With their two doubles on Friday, UMass Boston needs two doubles to tie and three to set a single-season record for doubles in a single-season. The 2010 team set the single-season record with 118 two-baggers
- Tramondozzi tied the University of Southern Maine's Jake Dexter for first amongst all Division III active pitchers with his 91 career appearances
The Beacons will now face Chapman University at 2:15 pm EST in a winner's bracket game.