RINDGE, N.H. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Ben Monteiro (Swansea, Mass.) ripped a two-run triple into right-centerfield as the Corsairs scored four-runs in the eighth inning to earn an 8-3 season-opening win over Worcester State University this afternoon on Pappas Field on the campus of Franklin Pierce.
The top of the UMass Dartmouth batting order set the tone for the Corsairs, accounting for five of the eight base hits. Senior George Agostini (Rehoboth, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a walk, while classmates Cory DeMedeiros (Fall River, Mass.) launched a two-run homer in the first inning and Alberto Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) added a solo shot in the sixth.
The Corsair bullpen combined to limit the Lancers to one earned run on four hits over the final eight innings. Junior David Tarr (Easton, Mass.) struck out four of the seven batters he faced in two scoreless innings, while junior George Bent (Barnstable, Mass.) also tossed two innings of scoreless relief. Freshman Josh Fickert (Lakeville, Mass.) did not allow a hit in his one-inning appearance, while classmate Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) closed out the ninth in his collegiate debut.
UMass Dartmouth cracked the scoring column in the top of the first, when Agostini singled up the middle and DeMedeiros homer over the left-centerfield fence. Worcester State responded with a run in the bottom half of the frame.
The Corsairs regained their two-run advantage in the second inning. Freshman Jose Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) was hit by a pitch and put himself into scoring position by swiping second base. Senior Alex Newton (Saco, Maine) doubled down the right-field line to drive in Vasquez from second.
The Lancers whittled their deficit to 4-3 with a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Worcester State was able to capitalize on a pair of defensive miscues to push across its first run, while Jake Ryan singled to right with the bases loaded. UMass Dartmouth was able to get out of the one-out, bases-loaded jam by getting a pop-out on a bunt attempt and a fly ball to left.
The Corsairs quickly seized the momentum and applied pressure on the visitors' defense by putting a runner in scoring position with two outs. Sophomore Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) delivered a pinch-hit, RBI single to centerfield to extend the lead to 5-3. Monteiro broke open the closely-contest with the triple to score DeMedeiros and Cacciola. Monteiro would eventually score on a wild pitch to cap the UMass Dartmouth scoring.
Junior Steve Colella (Leominster, Mass.) earned the victory for UMass Dartmouth, giving up an earned run over the course of an inning. Senior Ben Libuda (Auburn, Mass.) received the opening day start for Worcester State. He was saddled with the loss after giving up two runs in an inning and a third.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 13, when the Corsairs square off against Thomas More in Winter Haven, Fla.