WORCESTER, Mass.—Worcester native Steve Roche (Worcester, Mass.) struck out seven over six innings of work and the Beacons bullpen shut down Worcester State University (7-10) the rest of the way, to help UMass Boston baseball (8-6) earn a 7-3 victory Friday afternoon.
Roche made the most of his first collegiate start, allowing just six hits and three runs, two earned, over six innings of work. The junior right-hander struck out a career-high seven Lancers batters and allowed just one walk to earn his third career victory.
Freshman Michael Courtney (Newton, Mass.) and Matt Dziok (Southampton, Mass.) scattered just three hits and two walks over the final three innings to help close out the victory. Dziok picked up his team-high third save of the year with two scoreless innings.
Jamil Moquete (Boston, Mass.) and Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.) each hit home runs for the Beacons who have now scored 23 runs over the past two games. Moquete finished the game 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, while Ezold went 2-for-4 with a run and a run batted in.
Lead-off hitter Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) added two hits a run and an RBI, while Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) paced the Beacons with a team-high three hits in four at-bats.
A day after scoring 16 runs on 14 hits, the Beacons needed just three batters to get on the board. Mantoni led off the game with a double to left-center field and advanced to third on a groundout from Kyle Szatrowsi (Agawam, Mass.). Moquete followed with his team-leading third blast of the season, as he easily cleared the left-center field to give UMass Boston a 2-0 lead.
Worcester State responded with a single run in the bottom of the first. Adam Barry tripled down the right-field line and came home to score on a Moquete throwing error to cut the Beacons lead to 2-1.
After the Lancers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second, UMass Boston struck for two more runs in the third to push the lead to 5-1. After Derek Cole retired the first two batters, Ezold homered to left field to give UMass Boston a 4-1 lead. LaPaglia followed with a single, stole second base and then raced home on an Anthony Searles' (Shelton, Conn.) RBI single.
Roche would shut the Lancers down in the middle innings, as he allowed just three hits through the first five innings.
Worcester State finally cut into the deficit in the bottom of the sixth, with two runs on three hits. With two runners on and two outs, Roche ended his day by striking out Dan McGuill to get the Beacons out of a jam.
Courtney worked a scoreless seventh in his second collegiate appearance. The rookie right-hander allowed a walk and two hits, but kept the Lancers off the board, by turning a double-play on a liner back to the mound.
UMass Boston tacked on an insurance run in the ninth inning when Mantoni's sacrifice fly plated Nick Brothers (Danville, Mass.). Junior pinch-hitter Chris Adams (Whitman, Mass.) led off the inning with his first hit as a Beacon-a single to right, before being pinch-run for by Brothers. Brothers moved to second on a sacrifice-bunt and took third base on a passed ball, before scampering home on Mantoni's sacrifice fly.
Dziok closed out the game with a pair of scoreless innings, as he retired the Lancers 1-2-3 in the ninth to help UMass Boston improve to 15-14 all-time against Worcester State.
UMass Boston will return to Little East action this weekend when they take on Western Connecticut State University Sunday at Noon. The doubleheader will take place at Eastern Connecticut State University in Mansfield, Connecticut.