NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's baseball team was swept by visiting Eastern Connecticut State in a Little East Conference doubleheader at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Saturday. The Warriors took the opening game, 6-3, and then won the nightcap, 7-2.
The Warriors broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning, plating two runs. ECSU junior first baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin, CT/Berlin HS) had an RBI groundout with the bases loaded, followed by a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher T.J. Larivee (Salem, MA/Salem HS), giving Eastern Connecticut a 2-0 lead. The Corsairs cut into their deficit in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from freshman outfielder Ryan Medeiros (Acushnet, MA/New Bedford HS/Eckerd), making it 2-1.
In the top of the fourth, the Warriors extended their lead to 5-1 on a three-run home run from sophomore third baseman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott, CT/Wolcott HS) to deep left field. UMD added a run in the fifth inning on an RBI fielder's choice by senior shortstop John Granahan (Hanover, MA/Hanover HS/Southern Maine). Eastern Connecticut junior outfielder Mike Reimer (Ellington, CT/Berkshire School) scored the final run for the Warriors on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh. The Corsairs threathened in the bottom of the ninth with runners in scoring position, but only scored once on an RBI groundout by sophomore outfielder Kyle Palen (Becket, MA/Wahconah HS), en route to the 6-3 defeat. UMD sophomore pitcher Karney Boff (4-4, Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) took the loss, allowing six runs, four earned, on nine hits with five strikeouts. ECSU senior pitcher Jim Dimon (3-0, Seymour, CT/St. Joseph's HS) earned the win in a complete game effort, giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits and striking out 13 batters.
In the nightcap, the Warriors struck in the top of the first, taking a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout from Balowski. The Corsairs came back in the bottom of the first, scoring two runs on a single by freshman first baseman Alex Newton (Saco, ME/Thornton Academy/Franklin Pierce). ECSU tied it at 2-2 in the second on a sacrifice fly from sophomore left fielder Adam Roderick (W. Hartford, CT/Conard HS). In the fourth inning, the Warriors regained the lead on a two-run home run from sophomore shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA/Braintree HS), making it 4-2.
ECSU added one run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Balowski, pushing their lead to 5-2. Eastern Connecticut added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from Roderick and a sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Armando Soler (Hartford, CT/Newington HS). UMD senior pitcher Pat Lavey (3-1, Cranston, RI/Cranston East HS) took the loss, surrending seven runs on 11 hits in eight innings. ECSU junior pitcher Andrew Merritt (3-2, Norwalk, CT/Norwalk HS) earned the win in seven innings of work, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.
"I didn't feel like we made the adjustments needed to win today," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Prince. "Eastern Connecticut is a very good team. They had good pitching, timely hitting and made the plays in the field. We went in with a plan, but it took us a while to get in a groove. I always feel good about our games when Pat [Lavey] is on the mound, but it was just a lack of execution on our part. It's a grind and we'll have to re-focus heading into our games with Keene State."
UMass Dartmouth is now 14-21 and 3-9 in the Little East Conference, while Eastern Connecticut is 26-9 and 8-4 in LEC play. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Keene State next Friday. ECSU will visit Tufts Monday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASEBALL