AUBURNDALE, Fla. – With a combined 22 strikeouts and 23 hits, baseball got back on the winning track in a big way as they pulled out a pair of one-run victories first defeating Concordia University (Wis.) and McDaniel College (Pa.) by the finals of 5-4 and 7-6 Wednesday afternoon at the Winter Haven Sports Complex.
The two victories improved the Beacons overall record to 3-5, with only one game remaining in their spring trip. Concordia University fell to 0-1, while McDaniel dropped to 7-3 after Wednesday's losses.
Leading the way in game one for the Beacons was Will Barrack (Lancaster, Va.) who tied the program record for strikeouts in a game with 16. UMB's bullpen would combine for 19 K's in the win, which also set a new single game program record, breaking the original mark of 17 set in 2006. At the dish, the UMB bats came alive in a big way as they put-up nine hits to drive in their five runs.
Gerard Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) was the fuel behind the Beacons bats as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI. The designated hitter was solid in all of his appearances at the plate as he made every pitcher that he faced work extremely hard.
Concordia managed to strike first in Wednesday's opener with a pair of runs in the second. UMass put a run up on the scoreboard in the fourth, but Concordia responded right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the same inning. The Beacons took control of the game in the fifth scoring three runs to make it 4-3. They put their final run on the board in the sixth to cap-off a solid middle third. Concordia got their final run in the bottom of the eighth, but with a save by Matt Dziok (Southampton, Mass.), the Beacons were able to end their four-game skid in a big way.
In the nightcap, it was Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) who once again dominated the hill as the sophomore recorded his second win of the year after going all nine innings. The lefty struckout three batters and showed tremendous control of his pitches despite hitting a few bumps along the way. The UMB defense which was solid in the first game, struggled at key points in the nightcap, which allowed McDaniel to get on the scoreboard.
However the red hot UMB bats continued to pound the ball all over the diamond. Led by Nick Brothers (Fort Myers, Fla.) who had a career day the Beacons offense continued to fire on all cylinders and battled back every time the Green Terror managed a run of their own. Kurtis White (Nahant, Mass.) also helped to fuel the Beacons win as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Brothers went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
Matt Consiglio (Southbury, Conn.) also had a strong day offensively as the senior infielder finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Just like the opener the opposition would tack on the first runs of the game, scoring a pair in the top half of the third. They would then put-up three more in an error filled fifth to make it a five run ball game.
Despite falling into the five-run hole, the Beacons battled right back in the bottom half of the fifth to tie the game at 5-5. McDaniel would tack on their sixth run of the afternoon in the top of the sixth, but would be quickly countered by a two-run bottom of the sixth by the Beacons.
After taking the one run lead the Beacons turned to Szatrowski to close out the final three innings. Having to overcome some near costly errors, the Beacons recorded two huge double plays at crucial points to keep the Green Terror at-bay. The final 6-4-3 double play would seal the victory for UMB in the top of the ninth.
Baseball closes out their spring trip tomorrow when they face William Paterson University tomorrow at 11 a.m. and Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven.