KEENE N.H. – The UMass Dartmouth offense came alive in game two, splitting with Keene State and eliminate the Owls from a postseason berth on Friday afternoon at the Owl Athletic Complex. The Corsairs go to 17-20 and 8-6 in the Little East Conference, while the Owls end their season with a 17-21 record and 5-9 slate in conference play.
With the game two win and the Southern Maine sweep of Eastern Connecticut, UMass Dartmouth secures the No. 3 seed for the 2016 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament to be held next weekend. UMass Boston wrapped up the top seed and hosting duties with a sweep of Rhode Island College on Friday.
Keene State 2, Corsairs 1
Owl senior starter Cody Dube (Windham, Maine) struck out 15 batters, yielding the Corsairs to one run on four hits to go all nine innings and pick up a narrow victory in game one.
Keene got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning. After drawing a five pitch walk, freshman Connor Longley (Foxboro, Mass.) advanced to second on a wild pitch. Longley would eventually score on a single up the middle off the bat of sophomore Kolby Reggione (Pomfret, Conn.) to snatch the early lead.
The Owls would extend their advantage three innings later. In the bottom of the sixth, senior Billy Hartmann (Greenland, N.H.) led off the inning with a single to left field. A double to right center field from junior Trevor Chapin (Northfield, N.H.) would then plate Hartmann from first base.
UMass Dartmouth would cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh. With two outs in the inning, freshman Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) doubled down the left field line to score sophomore Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.) from second. The double marked the last time that the Corsairs would get a runner in scoring position.
Sophomore Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.) took the loss for the Corsairs, as the southpaw allowed two runs on five hits over five innings of work. Senior David Tarr (Easton, Mass.) threw the remaining three innings, only allowing two hits and striking out two Owls.
Corsairs 7, Keene State 5
The Corsairs bounced back in game two as Ramirez blasted his third home run of his freshman campaign to power the UMass Dartmouth offense to a 7-5 victory.
UMass Dartmouth flipped the script in the second game, as they got on the board in the top of the second when Ramirez hit his three-run shot over the left field fence.
The Owls answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a triple to right field from Devin Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.) to score one run, but UMass Dartmouth would extend its lead in the top of the third inning with an RBI double to left center by junior Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) to score sophomore Ervin Kantardzic (Roslindale, Mass.). Cacciola would score on a wild pitch with two outs in the inning to give the visitors the early 5-1 lead.
Keene State would add a run in the bottom of the third when sophomore Christian Bourgea (Litchfield, N.H.) beat out the double play chance as freshman Mac Struthers (Strafford, N.H.) crossed the plate.
Cacciola would score again on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth to put the game back to a four-run deficit. Sophomore Jose Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) lifted a fly ball deep enough for Curran to score from third and extend the Corsairs' led to 7-3.
The hosts cut the Corsairs lead down to two when senior Joe Libby (Hooksett, N.H.) singled up the middle driving in a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the UMass Dartmouth pitching staff slammed the door on the potential Ocomeback as sophomore Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) took the mound, gathering his sixth save of the season after a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Junior starter Sean Callahan (Colchester, V.T.) picked up his fourth win of the season, after striking out four batters over six innings of work. He was followed by sophomore Benjamin Lodge (Blackstone, Mass.) and senior Aaron Chouinard (Swansea, Mass.) who combined for two innings.
Junior Alan Schiff (East Hartford, Conn.) got the start for the Owls, but only lasted three innings after giving up five runs. Senior Eddie Dionne (Concord, N.H.) pitched 4.2 innings in relief without giving up a run.
The Corsairs await final seeding determinations on Saturday, as the final conference matchup between Eastern Connecticut and Western Connecticut will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m.