UMass Boston Escapes Rally as Baseball Falls, 9-7

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a late rally, the Beacons’ thirteen hits and two home runs were too much for the Engineers to match, as non-conference opponent University of Massachusetts Boston defeated the MIT baseball team, 8-5, Thursday on Briggs Field. With the win, the Beacons improved to 19-13 on the season, while the Engineers fell to 11-14.

The Beacons wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, putting up three runs in the first. A triple by UMass Boston sophomore Mark McCormack and RBI single by junior Ryan Walsh opened the scoring, and a lofty shot to left field from senior Jeff Outzen was aided by the gusty winds and sailed over the fence for a 2-run homer.

UMass extended its lead in the third when McCormack found his way on base again and was brought home by a single through the left side from junior Tim Fontaine, opening the Beacons’ advantage to 4-0.

MIT responded in the bottom of the inning when, after a pair of walks from UMass starting pitcher Andrew LeBrun, senior Stewart Park singled down the left-field line, driving home MIT’s Brian Doyle from second. Next at the plate, freshman James McKinney hit another single up the middle, scoring two and narrowing the deficit to 4-3.

With the game’s momentum in their favor, the Engineers kept pushing in the fourth. Freshman Grant Iwamoto doubled to left center while Ben Bersanti and Park loaded the bases before McKinney notched another two RBI’s with a single to left field. The Beacons managed to cut the inning short by running-down Park, but not before the Cardinal and Gray took the lead at 5-4.

Anxious to be trailing, UMass was quick to answer as hits by McCormack and Walsh became suddenly lethal when an MIT fielding error scored both, restoring the lead to the Beacons, 6-5.

Two quiet innings followed before the Beacons found their big bats again. Freshman Matt Consiglio reached base on a single through right side, setting up a two-run blast from senior Drew Tambling, his seventh home run of the season.

UMass notched another run in the ninth when a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Mike Mattei scored pinch-runner Pat Lynch from third, giving the Beacons a 9-5 lead.

MIT mounted a rally in the ninth, starting the inning with a double from freshman Ricardo Perez and Park launched a deep fly that barely escaped the grasp of Tambling in left field, coming down on the far side of the fence to score two and narrow the gap to 9-7. With sophomore pitcher Matt Young feeling the pressure, UMass brought in closer Tony Damon, who—despite allowing two base runners—managed to shut down the Engineers’ efforts, forcing a pair of fly outs to seal victory for the Beacons.

Seven pitchers took the mound for the MIT in the course of the game. Sophomore Columbus Leonard led Engineers with 3 strikeouts in 2 innings, while freshman Max Ockner was the only one that failed to allow a hit. Freshman Aric Dama (1-2) was tagged with the loss, having dropped 2 runs (0 earned) in two outs on the mound.

LeBrun (4-2) was credited with the win, tallying 2 strikeouts, 3 walks and 5 runs in 4 innings pitched. Damon notched his third save of the season, striking out 1 and walking 1 in his only inning on the hill.

Both teams return to action on Saturday, May 1. Having finished conference play for the season, the Engineers are home and will host non-conference opponent Trinity College in a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. UMass Boston next travels to face Little East rival Plymouth State University in a doubleheader also starting at noon.