BOSTON, Mass. – Freshman lefty Joey Rogers (Dighton, Mass.) was once again solid on the hill, and a three-run home run by Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) carried baseball to a crucial conference win as they defeated 21st/25th ranked University of Southern Maine by the final of 9-1 Thursday afternoon at Monan Park.
UMass Boston 9, #21/25 University of Southern Maine 1
UMass Boston (22-9, 7-3 Little East Conference)
Southern Maine (22-8, 9-1 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In his first conference start, the lefty was nearly untouchable as he limited the Huskies to just three hits, one of which was just a solo home run in the top of the fourth. During his seven innings of work, Rogers fanned three and allowed three walks. Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) was just as impressive as he allowed just two hits, while only walking one over the final two innings.
After the solo shot in the top of the fourth for the Huskies, UMass Boston responded immediately in the bottom half of the same inning. Luke Nagle (Pembroke, Mass.) ripped an RBI single up the middle, which scored Dan Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) to even the score at 1-1.
In the fifth inning, the Beacons tacked on another run to take their first lead of the day. The inning got off to a great start as pinch hitter Lionel Danielson (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) ripped a double down the left field line. He would then move over to third on a balk, setting what was one of the biggest plays the Beacons have pulled off the season.
With Josh Lopez (New Haven, Conn.) standing the batter's box, the junior infielder laid down a perfect bunt as Danielson came home simultaneously to complete a perfect suicide squeeze.
The Beacons would continue to add to their lead in the next inning, as Herzog ripped a three-run shot over the "monster" to put UMB in total control of the contest, as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead. Junior Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) extended his hit-streak to 23 straight games in the seventh, and eventually made his way home to represent the Beacons sixth run of the afternoon.
In their final trip to the plate, the Beacons tacked on three more runs to secure the conference win. Sal Frosceno (Derby, Conn.) knocked-in the first run of the inning on an RBI single. Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) then made it 8-1 on a sac-bunt which allowed Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) to score. UMB's final run of the day came on an RBI double by Lopez, who eventually closed out the inning after being tagged out at home on a wild pitch.
Tom Fortier was handed his first loss of the season for the Huskies, after allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits through five complete innings. From there, the Huskies used a combined six pitchers over the next four innings to close out the loss.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win, UMass Boston has now won three straight over the Huskies in Monan Park; Southern Maine has yet to record a win at the new home of the Beacons (0-4)
- Thursday's win ended the Huskies 15-game win-streak, while extending the Beacons to five straight games
- The Huskies five hits in the contest marked the fewest of the year
- UMass Boston put-up 13 hits in the win, and had one error
- Lopez now sits with 99 career hits, and is hitting .467 in conference play
- Nagle, who got the start in left field, is hitting .615 against conference opponents
- In his last three wins, Rogers boasts a 0.82 ERA and has a combined 13 strikeouts over 22 innings of work
- Southern Maine entered the game ranked third in the region, while the Beacons were fourth on the first NCAA RPI Regional Poll
The Beacons will host Plymouth State University on Saturday in a conference doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.