May 11, 2011
MANSFIELD, CT - The \#5 seeded University of Southern Maine used a five-run fifth inning to break open a close contest and upend the \#2 seeded University of Massachusetts Boston baseball team, 9-4, Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex in opening round play of the 2011 Little East Conference Tournament. With the victory the Huskies advance to the winner bracket and will face the winner of the first round matchup between \#3 UMass Dartmouth and \#4 Keene State tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. The Beacons will now have to defend their 2010 LEC Championship from the loser's bracket and will face the tournament hosts and \#1 seed in Eastern Connecticut State University tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. Eastern was also upset in day one action, falling 6-4 in 12 innings to \#6 seed Rhode Island College.
Heading into the fifth with a 3-1 lead, Southern Maine sent nine batters to the plate, scoring five runs to take total control of the game with a commanding 8-1 lead. Freshman second baseman Troy Thibodeau (Danvers, MA) got things started reaching base via a UMass Boston miscue, advancing to second on the throwing error. Freshman third baseman and leadoff hitter Forrest Chadwick (Gardiner, ME) legged out a bunt single to put runner at the corners for junior shortstop Anthony Pisani (Cheshire, CT) with nobody out. Pisani was able to lift a fly ball to right field deep enough to score Thibodeau on a sac-fly for the first Huskie run of the inning to make it a 4-1 ballgame. With one out, senior first baseman Mike Eaton (Sabattus, ME) followed Chadwick's lead, laying down another bunt single to put two on for sophomore right fielder Nick Grady (Whitefield, ME) in the cleanup spot. Grady did not disappoint, delivering a triple to the right centerfield gap to drive home Chadwick and Eaton to bump the visitors lead to 6-1. Grady would make it a 7-1 game when he crossed the plate on a fielder choice before senior DH Josh Mackey (Danvers, MA) accounted for the final Huskies run in the frame with an RBI single to left to drive home junior David Ricker (Winthrop, ME) to put UMass Boston in an 8-1 hole.
The Beacons would get one back in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-2 on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Christos Ferreira (Norwood, MA) plating sophomore left fielder Nick Grassetti (Agawam, MA) who reached with a double down the left field line.
UMass Boston would cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the eighth to pull within four at 8-4 as junior pinch hitter Wilberto Sanjuro (Boston, MA) and Ferreira reached base via singles before senior right fielder Dan Noonan (Westport, MA) drove them in with a two-RBI single to centerfield.
Southern Maine would add an insurance another insurance run in the top of the ninth as Pisani reached on a walk and came around to score the ninth Huskies run on a fielder choice by Ricker, giving USM the 9-4 cushion.
Early in the game, the Beacons jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, NH) but it was short lived as Southern Maine took the lead for good in the top of the second, plating two runs with the big blow coming on a homerun by Grady to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage heading into the middle innings. They'd go on to add a run in the a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Ricker for a 3-1 lead before blowing the game open with the big fifth inning outburst.
Senior second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) paced the Beacons at the plate with an impressive 4-4 showing while reaching base in all five plate appearances while Ferreira also was prefect on the game, going 3-3 with an RBI.
Senior pitcher Ben Ives (Portland, ME) earned the win on the hill for the Huskies throwing 7.2 innings while surrendering the four runs on 12 hits while striking out five. UMass Boston junior southpaw James Dalton (Apopka, FL) suffered the loss going 7.0 innings while surrendering eight runs (six earned) on ten hits.