HARWICH, Mass. – After a thrilling 7-5 win over Ramapo College to advance to the championship round of the NCAA Harwich Regional, the top-seeded Beacons saw their 2018 season come to a heartbreaking end as they undefeated Lakers of SUNY Oswego handed the Beacons a 10-4 loss to win the 2018 NCAA New England Regional championship Sunday afternoon at Whitehouse Field.
GM1 - UMass Boston 7, Ramapo College 5
GM2 - UMass Boston 4, SUNY Oswego 10
UMass Boston (37-10)
Ramapo College (35-15)
SUNY Oswego (30-12)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the Sunday's loss to the Lakers, who were the first team to earn a spot in this year's College World Series, the Beacons closed out 2018 with a program record 37 wins, in perhaps one of the most impressive seasons ever in UMass Boston history. The Beacons, who never fell out of the top-10 in the national polls, were the premiere team in New England throughout 2018.
Sunday's elimination also marked the final game in the career of the most successful senior class in Beacons baseball history, as Steve Witkowski (Pittsfield, Mass.), Alex Carusotto (Pittsfield, Mass.), Sal Frosceno (Derby, Conn.), Dave Murphy (Plymouth, Mass.), Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.), and Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) saw their unbeliveable careers come to a close.
In the first game of the day against the Roadrunners, the two teams were tied at 2-2 after a first inning that spanned nearly a full hour and saw both teams leave the bases loaded. The third-ranked Beacons took the lead for good in the bottom of the second after junior Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) scored from third on a Fowler ground out to first. The Beacons lead grew to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth when senior Murphy singled up the middle to plate juniors Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) and Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.).
The Roadrunners made it a one-run game twice down the stretch, but UMass Boston answered each time for the two-run win. Ramapo scored twice in the sixth on freshman Anthony Kuzmenko's single to right and a double-play ball that allowed senior Austin Unglaub to score from third, and junior Vincento Sita launched a solo homer over the left field fence in the seventh. Sophomore Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) scored on an error in the sixth for the Beacons, while junior Wanderson Pinales (Bani, Dominican Republic) scored on Fowler's double in the eighth.
Freshman Tylor Arruda (New Bedford, Mass.) overcame a rough start to pick up the win on the hill for UMass Boston, improving to 3-1 after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks over five-plus innings. Kaufman earned the save after tossing two scoreless innings on just 18 pitches.
Oswego loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first, setting the table for seniors Eli Holton and Kevin Hylas to deliver back-to-back two-RBI singles that gave the Lakers a 4-0 advantage. The Lakers lead grew to 6-0 in the second following junior Brandon Nicholson's two-run blast to left, and that was all the offense Oswego would need.
The Beacons got on the board in the top of the third on a Riley solo homer to left and pulled within 7-3 in the top of the fourth, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. Fowler would record his program record 22nd doulbe of the season to lead off the frame before scoring on an error, and sophomore Anthony Cecere (Wakefield, Mass.) went home on a Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) sac-fly.
UMass Boston had other scoring opportunities in the first half of the game, but Oswego was able to come up with some key defensive plays before the bullpen took over in the later stages of the contest to seal the win.
Junior Nick Demarco earned the decision after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits over the first five innings. Freshman Nick Antonella earned the save after holding UMass Boston to one run – a solo homer from sophomore McCormick in the top of the eighth – on three hits over the final four innings.
Kaufman took the loss after giving up four unearned runs in the bottom of the first.
UMass Boston had three All-Tournament Team selections in Boudrais, McCormick and Murphy.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons 37 wins stand as second most in program history and was the thir straight 30+ win season, also a program record
- Frosceno ended his college career as the all-time leader in games played with 178
- Fowler now holds the single season record for doubles with 22, breaking the original mark set in 2011; He also sits sixth all-time in career doubles with 39
- The 2019 edition of the Beacons will return six All-Conference selections