Ninth-Inning Rally, Secures LEC Sweep Over RIC For Baseball

Ninth-Inning Rally, Secures LEC Sweep Over RIC For Baseball

PROVIDENCE, Mass.—Senior Dan Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) dominated on the mound in game one and then was part of a four-run, ninth inning rally, to help UMass Boston Baseball earn their first doubleheader sweep of the season Saturday afternoon at Pontarelli Field. 

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 5, Rhode Island College 1

UMass Boston 7, Rhode Island College 4

(UMass Boston 12-7, Little East 3-1)

(Rhode Island College 11-9, Little East 1-3)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Backed by two-run homers from Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) and Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.), Mantoni cruised to his second-straight conference win. The senior allowed just six hits and one walk, while allowing one run in 7.1 innings. 

The nightcap require a late rally, as the Beacons trailed 4-1 after four and 4-3 entering the ninth. UMass Boston scored four runs on five hits and one Anchormen error to sweep the Anchormen for the second-straight year and fourth time in five seasons.

Mantoni, Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) and Fowler went a combined 13-for-25 with six RBI and five runs scored in the middle of the Beacons' lineup.

GAME ONE 

Fowler hit a two-run homer in the first to give Mantoni the lead and the Beacons tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth, to easily snap a two-game losing streak.

On the mound, Mantoni struck out five and allowed just eight of the 29 batters he faced to reach base. Sophomore Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) came on for the final 1.2 innings and struck out two, while giving up two hits, to close out the game. 

Fowler and Huegi's each had just one hit in the opener, but both players crushed two-run homers. Boudrias paced the offense with three hits and a run scored, while Mantoni chipped in with two hits.

Rhode Island College started PJ Watson took the loss. Watson scattered seven hits and five runs over six innings in the loss.

UMass Boston needed just four batters to take a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Boudrias singled to right field and trotted home on Fowler's third home run in as many conference games.

The Anchormen would scratch across their only run of the game in the fourth. Shaun Vigeant led off the inning with a triple to right and raced home on a one-out grounder to second.

UMass Boston tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth. Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) led off with a walk and moved to second on a Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) single. After a sac bunt moved up both baserunners, junior Sal Frosceno (Derby, Conn.) executed a squeeze bunt to score Searles. Huegi followed with his first home run of his sophomore season to push the lead to 5-1.

GAME TWO

The Beacons' used a curious play at first base that started the ninth inning to fuel their ninth-inning rally, as they dug themselves out of an early hole. 

Trailing 4-3 to start the inning, Huegi popped up on the right side and the defense lost the ball in the sun. With the ball falling fast, the second baseman reached out and tried to make the catch, with his feet straddling the foul line. The base umpire ruled it a fair ball and after a lengthy conversation, Huegi stayed at first base. 

After a sac bunt pushed Huegi to second, Mantoni tied the game with an RBI double to right-center. Fowler gave the Beacons' their first lead of the game with a two-out RBI single to right. An Anchormen error extended the inning and McCormick and Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) made them pay, as the two outfielders each delivered RBI singles.

Tramondozzi came on in the bottom of the inning and worked around a walk to earn his fourth save of the year. 

Junior Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) earned the win in relief, after throwing 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. The righthander allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out four. Senior Matt Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) went 3.1 innings in his first conference start and finished with a line of three hits, four runs and six walks.

Fowler and Herzog led the Beacons with three hits and an RBI each, while Mantoni tacked on two hits and two RBI. Boudrias was the final Beacon with multiple hits, as he went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Rhode Island College closer Mike Webb got the start in game two and allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings of work. Jake Roy came on in the ninth with one out to try to get the save, but instead allowed four hits, three runs, one earned, in 0.2 innings.

Brad Douglas paced the Anchormen with two hits and an RBI and each of the top four hitters in the home team's lineup registered an RBI.

Rhode Island College grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, when Vigeant hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and one out. Tulley got the final batter of the inning to strike out to leave two on.

UMass Boston tied the game in the fourth, when Fowler was hit by a pitch and crossed the plate on a McCormick RBI groundout.

The Anchormen took advantage of Tulley's wildness to grab a 4-1 lead in the fourth. With one out, Tulley walked four-straight batters to make it 2-1 Anchormen. Brad Douglas followed with an RBI single to end Tulley's day, before Austin Barry greeted Kaufman with another RBI single. Kaufman minimized the damage by getting a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Beacons got two of the runs back in the next half inning. Frosceno and Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.) each walked and were at the corners with one down. Mantoni plated Frosceno with a sacrifice fly and Brown raced home from first on Boudrias' RBI double.

Despite putting a runner in scoring position in each of the next three inning, UMass Boston still found themselves trailing 4-3 heading into the ninth setting up their big inning.  

BY THE NUMBERS 

  • UMass Boston improved to 28-26 all-time against the Anchormen-thanks to their recent hot streak. The Beacons have won six in a row and 10 of the past 11.
  • In his first two conference starts, Mantoni has gone 14.1 innings and allowed nine hits and two earned runs to go 2-0.
  • Fowler extended his hitting streak to 12 games and is hitting .377 (17-for-45) during that span with three home runs and 14 RBI. He has posted at least one RBI in nine-straight games.
  • Kaufman recorded his fourth-straight scoreless outing. Since returning to New England, the junior has gone 13.1 innings, and allowed nine hits and no runs.
  • With the sweep, UMass Boston is tied with UMass Dartmouth for the conference lead at 3-1. The University of Southern Maine is right behind the two Massachusetts schools at 2-0. 

WHO'S NEXT

UMass Boston will host Salem State University on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the first of three midweek non-conference matchups.