BOSTON, Mass.—Top-seeded UMass Boston held off a late charge from second-seeded Wheaton College to go undefeated in the UMass Boston Regional and earn the title of UMass Boston Regional Champions.
#1 UMass Boston 6, #2 Wheaton College 4
(UMass Boston 33-11)
(Wheaton College 29-12)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Led by Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.), the Beacons raced out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning and led the rest of the way, despite several Lyons rallies.
With the victory, UMass Boston wins their third regional tournament in program history and advances to next week's Super Regional. The Beacons will either take on fellow Little East Conference side University of Southern Maine or New England College. The top-seeded Huskies defeated #4 New England College 16-4 in game one of their regional championship series, to force the if necessary game.
Herzog earned MOP honors after finishing the weekend 8-13 with seven runs, seven RBI and four extra-base hits. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by UMass Boston seniors Fernando Burgos (Hyde Park, Mass.), Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and junior Nick Cotraro (Beverly, Mass.).
Herzog paced the offense in Sunday's Championship Game by going 3-4 with three runs scored, one RBI, one double and a key stolen base. Josh Lopez (Sandy Hook, Conn.) went 1-2 with a run scored and two RBI and Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) added a two-run double.
On the mound, UMass Boston used three pitchers to hold off a Lyons offense that awakened on Saturday night.
Freshman Dylan Fashempour (Redlands, Calif.) earned the victory by limiting Wheaton to three hits, three earned runs and two walks over six innings. The righty tacked on three strikeouts.
Sophomore Mike Doherty (Brewster, Mass.) came on to start the seventh and got two outs, before being pulled with two runners on. Senior Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) came on to get the final out and then worked through two jams in the eight and ninth to secure a seven out-save. The top closer in program history struck out three and scattered three hits, one walk and one earned run.
Wheaton senior lefty Joe Bongiovanni took the loss after allowing four earned runs over 3+ innings. Andrew Manni, Dominic Cunha and Gavin Reilly combined to limited the Beacons to three hits and two earned runs over the final five frames.
Junior Nick Raposo paced the Lyons offense with two hits, one run and two RBI. Raposo and Jared Sharkey each hit solo home runs, while Conor Gammond finished 2-5 with a run scored.
Saturday's game was a marathon due to a 96-minute, rain delay in the top of the third inning. Neither team was able to get anything going in the first two innings and the heavy rain came in the top of the third, with a runner on first and one out
After taking the rubber once again, Fashempour gave up a walk to put two runners on, but got out of the jam with an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
UMass Boston jumped all over Bongiovanni in the bottom of the inning. Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, Mass.) opened the frame with a sharply hit single to give the Beacons their first baserunner of the contest. Huegi moved McCormick to third with a wall-ball double and Herzog followed with an RBI single through the left side. On the next play, Lopez bunted down the right side on a safety squeeze to drive in Huegi and then he reached when the ball hit off the foot of the Lyons first baseman and went into foul territory. The play came back to cost the Lyons, as Boudrias ripped a double into right-center that went off the end of Gammond's glove and fell, to score both runners.
Raposo got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth, when he blasted a home run over the "mini monster" to lead off the inning.
UMass Boston pushed their advantage back to four in the fifth. Herzog doubled to lead off the fifth, took third on a wild pitch and raced home on Lopez' sac fly.
Wheaton roared back with two runs in the sixth. After a leadoff walk to Brody Ashley, Raposo cut the deficit to 5-2 with a one-out sacrifice fly. Sharked followed with his 12th homer of the season to bring the Lyons back within two.
The Beacons had a chance to grab the momentum back in the sixth but couldn't come through. With two on and no outs, Cunha induced a pop up on the infield and then the Beacons failed to execute on a safety squeeze to give the Lyons a second out. Cunha walked the batter to put runners at the corners, but he was able to retire Huegi on a fly out.
Wheaton put the pressure on the Beacons in each of the final three innings, as they brought the go-ahead run to the plate in each of the final three frames.
In the seventh, Wheaton worked a walk and a single to put two runners on with two outs, before Tramondozzi struck out Ashley to end the frame
UMass Boston grabbed a key insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Herzog singled to open the inning, moved to second on a sac bunt and then with two outs, stole third and raced home after the throw was dropped by the third baseman
Wheaton came right back and cut the deficit back to two with a single run in the eighth. Gammond opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a pop up to shallow right, that dropped in for a double off the bat of Raposo. After a walk to Sharkey loaded the bases, Salkind drove in a run with a ground ball to second. Tramondozzi struck out the next batter and induced a long fly out to center to keep the score at 6-4.
The Lyons mounted one finally rally in the ninth. Willy Boyd was hit by a pitch to lead off and Ashley hit the ball to the warning track in left, only to have freshman Danny Collazo (Stamford, Conn.) make a great tumbling catch. Gammond singled with two down to bring Raposo up for the final time, but Raposo grounded back to short and after not getting to the bag in time, Huegi fired across to first base for the final out.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win, UMass Boston wins their third Regional Title in 10 years. UMass Boston also went undefeated in the 2010 New England Regional and 2017 New England Regional.
- UMass Boston improves to 16-4 all-time in the regionals and 17-8 in NCAA Tournament play. This year's senior class is 13-6, including 12-4 in regional play.
- The Beacons pitching staff has allowed 12 runs over seven postseason victories. Overall, they have posted a staff earned run average of 1.52 during their 7-0 start to the postseason.
- With the win, UMass Boston moves to 4-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament play against Wheaton College. The Beacons went 2-0 against the Lyons this weekend and also defeated the Lyons in 2010 and the 2017 College World Series. Overall, Wheaton leads the all-time series 7-5.
- The Beacons Senior Class is now 75-19 (.798) at Monan Park.
- Wheaton College's Paul Prue, Salkin and Sharkey all were named to the All-Regional Team. Baruch's Nicholas Valeriano and Saint Joseph's College (Maine) Joey Murphy and Matt Bergeron also earned spots on the All-Regional Team
- Herzog is the Regional Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament for the second time in three years. He was also recognized at the 2017 Harwich Regional.
#22/23 UMass Boston will take on the winner of #3/4 University of Southern Maine and New England College in next week's Super Regional that will start on Friday. The host site for next week's Super Regional will be announced late Sunday or early Monday.