BOSTON, Mass. – Junior first baseman Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) extended his hitting-streak to 17 straight games as he went 4-for-10, all of which were extra base hits, to lead baseball to a Little East Conference split with Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at Monan Park.
GM 1: UMass Boston 7, Eastern Connecticut State University 15
GM 2: UMass Boston 15, Eastern Connecticut State University 5 (8 inns.)
UMass Boston (16-8, 4-2 Little East Conference)
Eastern Conn. State (12-9, 2-4 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Fowler's team-leading day consisted of two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also had five RBI and three runs scored to keep the Beacons in the top-3 in the conference standings. Also, having a huge day was Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.) who finished 4-for-9, with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored.
In the opener, the Beacons suffered perhaps their two worst innings this season, as the Warriors exploded for eight runs, all earned, off senior righty Dan Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) The Warriors tacked on 16 hits in the game one win. ECSU put-up a season-high six doubles and one run, and were walked just five times by the Beacons pitching staff.
After falling into the huge 8-0 hole, UMass began to chip away at the deficit in the third and fourth innings as they combined for five runs to make it a three-run game, with plenty of baseball left to play. A Sal Frosceno (Derby, Conn.) lead-off triple, and a sac-fly by Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.), gave the Beacons their first run of the day in the third.
In the fourth, Fowler led-off the inning with a solo shot, to give him his fourth home in LEC play this season. An error by the Warriors catcher would plate UMB's third run of the day, and second of the inning. Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) made it 8-4 with his RBI single to left center, while a single up the middle by Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.), but the Warriors lead to three before they were able to get out of the inning.
Joe Maguire (Peabody, Mass.), who entered the game in the third kept UMB in the contest as he held the Warriors in check not allowing through three straight innings. However, the Warriors all but secured their fifth straight win over the Beacons in the sixth as they scored four unearned runs to make it 12-5. They then got three more in the seventh, while hold UMB to just one in the bottom half of the inning. UMass scored their final run in the ninth, but the late inning rally was short lived.
Mantoni fell to 2-1 on the year, while ECSU's Jordan Muchin improved to 3-2 after going six complete innings. Nick Rascati collected his third save after going the final three innings. The pitchers tallied 10 strikeouts respectively, and allowed six walks. Maguire was solid through his 3.1 innings of work, as he allowed just two hits and had two of the team's four K's.
The nightcap in Saturday's doubleheader was a completely different story for the Beacons. Making his first LEC start, Matt Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) was untouchable through the first three innings, as he faced nine and retired nine. Tulley also posted a season-high seven strikeouts and allowed just one walk.
Unlike the opener, the Beacons wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. The Beacons put-up three runs in the first thanks to RBI doubles by Fowler and Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.), along with an RBI single by Searles. They added to their lead in the second and third innings, as they scored one run in each.
Eastern Connecticut made things a little more interesting in the fourth as they put-up three runs of-their-own to make it two-run ball game. After a scoreless fifth for both teams and top of the sixth for the Warriors, the Beacons gained some insurance runs, thanks to a two-run triple by Fowler. However, the story of the huge sixth inning belonged to Josh Lopez (New Haven, Conn.) who crushed his first collegiate home run, a solo shot, to make it 6-3 at the time.
The Warriors managed just one run in seventh, but were quickly countered by another three-run inning by the Beacons. Brown knocked-in a pair on huge triple, before scoring on a passed ball. The final ECSU run came in the top of the eighth, but it was a four-run bottom half of the inning that secured UMB's first-ever mercy rule win over the Warriors. Plating the game winning run in the bottom half of the eighth was Lopez on a RBI single through the left side.
With the win, Tulley improved to 3-2 on the year, with Chris Munro (Marshfield, Mass.) and Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) each getting an inning of relief. Rob Buchetto was handed the loss, his second, after allowed seven runs, six earned, on 10 hits and three walks.
The Beacons combined for 16 wins in the victory, while the Warriors posted eight.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Combined the Beacons recorded 22 runs on 25 hits in the doubleheader, while the Warriors finished with 20 runs on 24 hits. There was a total of five errors between the two rivals
- With the game two win UMass Boston recorded their first Little East Conference split since the 2015 season
- Saturday's contest was a match-up between the 2016 Little East Conference Regular Season champion in UMB and the LEC Tournament champion in ECSU; Both teams competed in the NCAA Regional Tournament in 2016
- During Fowler's 17 game hit streak he is hitting .354 with 23 hits, five doubles, one triple, four homes, 10 RBI, 12 run scored, has reached base a total of 42 times, and his slugging .646
- Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) extended his hit-streak to 13 straight games, nine of which he has recorded two more hits
- Mantoni has now reached base in every single game played this season
The Beacons will host Roger Williams University on Monday at 3 p.m.