MANSFIELD, Conn. – A three-inning save by Karney Boff carried the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth to a 7-5 win over baseball on the first day of the 2014 Little East Conference baseball tournament hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University.
With the loss, the Beacons (17-23) will now face the top-seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University in an elimination game tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. The Corsairs (20-20) will face the second-seeded Huskies of the University of Southern Maine at 6 p.m. in game six of the tournament.
Boff, went the final three innings and allowed two runs, both unearned, on one hit and struck out three. The Corsairs also used a combined four-runs in the sixth and seventh innings to push their lead to 7-3 to earn starter Nick Fuller the six inning victory.
The Beacons wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they worked some great at-bats to start off the contest. They would take advantage of an early error by the Corsairs, which would lead to their first run of the afternoon. A one-run double by Charlie LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) would push the Beacons lead to two, giving starter Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) some room to work with right from the start.
On the hill, Szatrowski held the Corsairs scoreless through the first two innings, before allowing a two-run bottom of the third to tie the game at 2-2. UMass Boston had a chance to blow the game wide open in the second, but missed a huge opportunity as they left the bases loaded.
After the two-run third inning for the Corsairs, UMass Boston regained the lead in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice-fly by Anthony Gomes-Sirianni (San Francisco, Calif.), which plated Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.). Unfortunately, the Beacons lead lasted just the half inning as the Corsairs tied it at 4-4 on an RBI groundout.
Neither team would score a run in the fifth, with Fuller also holding the Beacons scoreless in the top of the 6th. Szatrowkski would allow just the one run in the bottom half of the sixth to make it 5-4 in favor of the Corsairs.
Both starters would leave the game going into the seventh, with Boff taking over for Fuller and Josh Cummiskey (Lowell, Mass.) taking over for Szatrowski. Boff did not miss a beat when he stepped on the hill, as he continued to shut down the Beacons bats. Cummiskey's first inning would be a tough one for the junior righty as the Corsairs drove in three to make it 7-3.
A scoreless eighth, would give the Beacons just three more outs before being handed their first tournament loss. In the ninth, Boff wasted little time getting two outs on the board. The Beacons would catch a break as the righty would surrender his first of two walks in the inning. That coupled with an infield error would put runners on first and third.
Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.), would then earn his 19th stolen base of the season, to put two runners in scoring position. Boff would then load the bases following a walk to Jose Pena (Boston, Mass.). This would then bring up LaPaglia, who represented the tying run.
The junior would rip a single up the middle to drive in two-runs to make it 7-5 in favor of the Corsairs. With runners at first and second, Chris Adams (Whitman, Mass.) hoped to keep the Beacons rally alive. On the very first pitch, Adams crushed the ball to deep center field.
Unfortunately, Ryan Medeiros would collect the final out to earn Boff his second save of the year, and Fuller his third win of the 2014 season. Of the three runs allowed by Fuller, only one was earned, as the starter allowed six hits. He also had two strikeouts and three walks.
For Szatrowski, he was handed his second loss of the season, after allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits in six innings of work. The lefty also struck out three and walked one. After the tough seventh, Cummiskey settled down and did not allow a hit in the bottom of the 8th.
LaPaglia recorded two of the Beacons seven hits and had three RBI in the loss. Cory DeMedeiros led the Corsairs as he went 2-for-4 with two RBI. The Corsairs collected eight hits in the tournament win.
Baseball will look to avoid elimination tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 p.m. when they take on the top-seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University.