Corsairs Outlast Falcons In 14 Innings
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Sophomore Joe Zottoli (Holden, Mass./Wachusett Regional) delivered a two-out double to right centerfield to break a 2-all deadlock in the top of the 14th inning, lifting the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth baseball team to a 3-2 victory over Fitchburg State University this afternoon at the UMD Baseball Field.
With two outs in the top of the 14th inning, senior Wayne Bolz (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) keyed the two-run rally with an infield single. Zottoli laced an 0-1 pitch into the right centerfield gap to score the speedy Bolz from first.
Freshman Ted Savage (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) slammed the down shut in the bottom half of the inning to earn his first collegiate save, striking out the first two batters before stranding the tying run at first.
Junior Ryan Medeiros (Acushnet, Mass./New Bedford) sparked the UMass Dartmouth (6-8) offensive attack with four hits, including a pair of doubles, a run scored, and a RBI. Sophomore Matt Russell (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex) went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and eight infield assists at second base. Junior George Agostini (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) reached base safely four times with a single, double and two intentional walks, while Zottoli also registered mutli-hits for the "visitors."
Sophomore George Bent (Barnstable, Mass.) was outstanding for the Corsairs this afternoon, scattering eight hits and an unearned run over the course of nine innings. Freshman Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass./Silver Lake) came on in relief to pitch a scoreless 10th, while sophomore Josh Tombs (Kingston, R.I./South Kingston) limited the Falcons to one run on two hits to collect his first collegiate victory.
UMass Dartmouth opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, when Medeiros led off with a double down the left field line. With one out, Agostini followed suit to give the Corsairs the early 1-0 lead.
Fitchburg State (13-6) responded in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Derrick Frazier (Beverly, Mass./Southern New Hampshire) opened the frame with an infield single to the left side of the diamond. The Falcons attempted to push the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt, but were able to benefit from a UMD defensive miscue. Fitchburg State employed the same strategy, successfully moving the runner over to third with one out. Junior Clayton Beaulieu (Chicopee, Mass./Holyoke CC) evened the ledger with a ground out to first base.
Both starting pitchers began to settle into a groove over the next few innings. The Falcons put the potential go-ahead run on third base in the fourth and seventh innings, while the Corsairs placed runners in scoring position in the sixth and eighth, respectively.
UMass Dartmouth was finally able to solve sophomore relief pitcher Javier Lozada (New Bedford, Mass.) in the top of the 13th inning. Russell broke up Lozada's string of 13 consecutive batters with a single up the middle and stole second to move into scoring position. Medeiros drilled a single into right field to give the Corsairs a 2-1 lead. UMass Dartmouth threatened to tack on a few insurance runs, but Lozado was able to work out of a bases-loaded, one out jam.
Fitchburg State answered in the bottom half of the inning to extend the contest. Frazier was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a double by sophomore Brendan Cutler (Lancaster, Mass./Clinton). Following an intentional walk, Beaulieu hit a slicing liner to centerfield that Medeiros snagged with a diving catch, but was able to score Frazier from third to forge a 2-all tie.
The Falcons used a well-balanced attack as five student-athletes recorded two hits apiece. Beaulieu was hitless in his five plate appearances, but drove in both runs. Freshman Jake Kelley (North Chelmsford, Mass.) earned a no-decision after throwing 7.1 innings. He allowed one run on eight hits, but strike out eight.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 12 p.m., when the Corsairs square off against nationally-ranked University of Southern Maine in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader. The nightcap between the Corsairs and Huskies is scheduled for 3 p.m.