FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Beacons used timely hitting to get back on the winning track as UMass Boston defeated the St. Joseph's College (L.I.) by the final of 5-3 and 9-7 to earn a non-conference sweep Tuesday afternoon at Terry Park.
With Tuesday's sweep UMass Boston improved to 4-2 on this year's spring trip as they have just three games remaining before heading back to Boston this Friday evening. Having a huge day at the plate for the Beacons was junior Charles LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) who went 4-for-7, which included two triples, and had five RBI. His two huge extra base hits tied him for the program record for triples in a single game.
On the hill, the Beacons saw Harlan Zeerip (Bridgewater, Conn.) and Matt Dziok (Southampton, Mass.) each record their first wins of the 2014 season, while Will Barrack (Lancaster, Va.) notched his first save in game one.
GAME ONE – UMass Boston 5, St. Joseph's College 3
In the opener the Beacons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks in part to an RBI double from Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.) and a sacrifice fly from Todd Ezold (Westfield, Mass.). Leading off the inning Adam Gutierrez crushed his second double of the trip, while Daniel Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) ripped a single up the middle to put runners at first and second. That hit was the first of three for the newcomer who also accounted for three of the Beacons runs.
The Beacons scored another two runs in the top of the third with Moquete and LaPaglia each recording RBI singles. Also playing a major part in the game one victory was the Beacons aggressiveness on the base paths. In total the Beacons stole a season-high seven bases, with three of those belonging to Mantoni.
St. Joseph's finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth as they recorded all three of their runs in the frame. The Beacons final run of the contest came in the top of the seventh when Mantoni scored on wild pitch.
On the hill, Zeerip went 5.2 innings allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits. He would also strike out one and walk another. For Barrack he allowed just one hit, while fanning two in 1.1 innings to earn the save.
GAME TWO – UMass Boston 9, St. Joseph's College 7
In perhaps their biggest test of the young season, the Beacons overcame a 4-0 deficit to earn the sweep. St. Joseph's would score four of their seven runs in the top of the first, but that lead was quickly erased as the Beacons tacked on two in the bottom half of the inning, and two more in the bottom of the second.
After a scoreless third for both teams, UMass would explode for three more runs in the fourth to make it 7-3. LaPaglia drove in two of the Beacons three runs on a huge triple to right field. Ezold picked-up the other RBI on a single also to right field.
Down but not out St. Joseph's answered back with a three-spot of-their-own in the top of the next inning to tie the game at 7-7. The tie did not last long as the Beacons retook the lead on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth. Brothers would record the go-ahead run after crushing a triple to deep right field with two outs.
In the sixth, LaPaglia drove in the Beacons final run on his second triple, this time to right center. His huge hit came after Tyler Johnson (Newton, N.H.) crushed a double down the left field line to lead off the inning.
Gabe May (Portsmouth, N.H.) got the start in Tuesday's nightcap and went four complete innings. Steve Roche (Worcester, Mass.) came out of the bullpen and went 2/3 off inning before Dziok closed out the win going the final 2.1. The righty did not surrender a hit or walk during his outing.
Baseball returns to action tomorrow when they face 19th ranked Johns Hopkins University at 10 a.m. at the Player Development Complex, field number 3.