GORHAM, Maine – With a runner standing on third base, junior Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) extended his hit-streak to 32-straight games in a big way as he plated the game-winning run to give 21st/22nd ranked baseball a 4-3 win in the bottom of the 12th inning over Rhode Island College Wednesday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.
#21/22 UMass Boston 4, Rhode Island College 3 (12 innings)
UMass Boston (30-9)
Rhode Island College (17-18)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) single put a runner on first base with one out on the scoreboard, a balk would move the Beacons base runner up 90 feet into scoring position. Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.) would come in to pinch run for the Beacons. Thanks to a wild pitch Riley trotted into third base, with the Beacons big bat Fowler at the dish.
The junior would battle with RIC's relief pitcher Mike Webb. With the Anchormen's infield on the grass, Fowler caught a perfect pitch that he then ripped passed the second baseman to plate Riley. With the win, UMass Boston advances in the winner's bracket in the tournament and will play at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow against the winner of UMass Dartmouth and Eastern Connecticut State University.
Fowler's clutch hit also kept his near record matching hit-streak alive as it now stands at 32 games. The program record, which was set in 1989, still stands at 34.
On the hill UMB got another strong showing from freshman lefty Joey Rogers (Dighton, Mass.) as he went seven complete. He allowed just one run on six hits, but could not get any offensive support throughout his outing. Despite scoring two runs in the second inning, the Beacons were only able to record one hit through the first 6.1. Closer Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) had to go a season-high 4.2 innings before collecting his third win of the year. During his outing, he fanned three and allowed just four hits.
In the Beacons two-run second inning, UMB used some small ball to take the early lead. A fielder's choice plated the Beacons first run of the tournament, while an error by the Anchormen made it 2-0 UMass Boston.
From there, Rhode Island College would make contact but never reach home thanks to some great defensive plays.
The Anchormen finally got on the board in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Frank Pettinato. They then took their first lead of the day in the eighth as they scored two runs. They tied the game at 2-2 on a passed ball, before Pettinato ripped a single to center field, which scored the than go-ahead run.
UMass Boston evened the score in the bottom half of the inning. Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) beat out an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Freshman Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) came on to pinch hit and his single up the middle just barely scored Herzog ahead of the throw to the plate.
UMB nearly walked-off with the win in the ninth but was cut down by a tremendous throw by Josh Silva. Dan Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) crushed a single to deep center field, which sent the speedy Sal Frosceno around third base. Looking as if though they were going to score the huge run, Silva's throw hit the mark to prevent Frosceno from scoring.
RIC nearly retook the lead in the 12th with runners on second and third, but the Beacons were able to get out of the inning thanks to a groundout to second and a pop-up to center field.
Herzog led the Beacons with a 1-for-4 day and two runs scored, as UMB finished with a combined eight hits.
The loss went to Mike Webb after going a strong 3.1 innings. PJ Watson went the first eight innings and had six walks and three strikeouts, while allowing just three hits. He held the Beacons without a hit for the first six-plus innings.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win UMass Boston is now 3-0 against Rhode Island College in 2017
- UMass Boston is now 29-26 all-time against the Anchormen
- The Beacons entered the conference tournament as the two-seed, while the Anchormen were the five-seed
- Wednesday's game marked just the third time since game two of their April 22 doubleheader with Keene State that UMB had been held to less than 10 hits.
- UMass Boston reached the 30-win mark for the second-straight season and third time in program history. The 2010 team went a program-best 32-17.
The Beacons will play tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the winner's bracket, and will face the winner of UMass Dartmouth/Eastern Connecticut State.