WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Led by junior righty Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.) baseball notched their first win of the 2012 campaign as they defeated the Devils of FDU-Florham (0-3) by the final score of 9-7 Saturday afternoon at the Chain of Lakes Park Saturday afternoon.
In his season debut Heefner was solid for seven innings as he allowed just one run, which was unearned on four hits. He also retired four batters and did not surrender a walk. Showing total control over his pitches the California native did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when the Devils recorded back-to-back singles.
At the plate the Beacons bats were just as consistent as they put-up eight of their nine runs in the first six innings of Saturday's non-conference game. Catcher Taylor Kapulka (Worcester, Mass.) fueled UMass Boston's 11-hit effort as he went 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. The sophomore was one of five players for UMass Boston to finish with two hits.
Also having a solid afternoon was junior college transfer Jamill Moquette (Boston, Mass.) who went 2-for-3, with two RBI and one scored. The Boston native reached base a total of four times as he was also walked twice.
The Devils also went on to record 11 hits in Saturday's match-up, with seven of those coming in the final two frames. After being held to just one run through seven, FDU-Florham started to mount a comeback in the eighth as they tallied five runs to make the game much more interesting. Steve Seminerio was one of three Devils to finish with two hits. Going into the contest, Seminerio was a perfect 8-for-8, but was held hitless in his first three at-bats.
UMass wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first on an error by FDU's pitcher. They then made it a four-run game in the third was Kapulka drove in a pair of runs on single down the right field line. The third run of the inning came on a wild pitch which scored Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.).
The Beacons lead continued to grow in the fifth on RBI singles by Kapulka and Moquette. In the sixth it was Moquette who notched two RBI on a single through the left side. Despite falling into the eight-run hole the Devils did not go down quietly as they scored their first run of the afternoon in the seventh. After the five-run top of the eighth, UMass got an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame on a suicide squeeze, which scored Mike McCormack to make it a three run game at the time (9-6).
FDU's final run of the afternoon came in the top half of the ninth, but that late rally came to a screeching halt when Jeff Thomas (Redwood City, Calif.) stepped on the hill. On his first pitch, the Beacons were able to get two outs in the form of an unassisted out at first, followed by a great rundown at third. From there Thomas just took over as he got the next batter to groundout to first to secure the victory and to earn his first save of the season.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow when they face Franklin and Marshall College at 1:30 p.m. in a doubleheader at Weber International University in Babson Park.