DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth totaled four home runs on the day, including two from junior Josh O'Neill (Halifax, Mass.), collecting its first Little East Conference sweep of the season with 5-3 and 8-7 victories over visiting Keene State on Saturday afternoon.
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 5, Keene State 3 | UMass Dartmouth 8, Keene State 7
Records: UMass Dartmouth (13-10, 3-1 LEC) | Keene State (8-13, 1-3 LEC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 5, Keene State 3
Starter Sean Callahan (Colchester, Vt.) shut down the Keene State bats in the opener, going six shutout innings and just allowing five base hits. O'Neill belted his first collegiate homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning, breaking up the pitcher's duel.
Keene State's Devin Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.) paced the Owls offensively, after going 3-for-4 at the plate, and driving in a run.
Early on, both pitchers were able to silent the opposing bats. In the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.) drew a two-out walk to set the stage for O'Neill. The junior second baseman was able to get around on the first pitch that he saw, putting it over the left field fence.
Keene State was held in check until the top of the seventh, when Connor Longley (Foxboro, Mass.) found a hole on the right side of the infield, plating Mac Struther (Strafford, N.H.) from second. Zach Courier (Mansfield, Mass.) delivered the two-run lead back to the Corsairs in the bottom half, lifting a sacrifice fly to centerfield deep enough to score Ezequiel Sanchez (Mantai, Puerto Rico) from third.
The Owls eventually drew even in the eight, with back-to-back base hits, knotting the game at three. UMass Dartmouth would hold the final edge for the 5-3 win to close out the eighth, when Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) and Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) scored on a passed ball and wild pitch, respectively.
Junior Ben Lodge (Blackstone, Mass.) kept Keene State at bay to last through the final three frames, picking up his fourth win of the season with five Owl hits and three earned runs, striking out three.
UMass Dartmouth 8, Keene State 7
The nightcap made up for what the opener lacked in offense, with both teams combining for 12 of the 15 total runs in the first three innings.
After going 0-for-3 in game one for Keene State, John Tarscio (Wethersfield, Conn.) was the spark for the Owls, putting for a 3-for-4 performance with a homer and four RBIs.
The bottom of the first started with a bang, as both Knell and Michael launched their homeruns early on to give the Corsairs the early 5-0 lead. Keene State answered the call, also sending two over the fence in the top half of the second to edge within a run.
O'Neill sent out his second homerun of the day to lead off the second, a solo shot to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Corsairs. The margin would eventually evaporate when Tarascio singled into the right center gap, plating a pair and knotting the score at six.
UMass Dartmouth's Chase Hussey (Claremont, N.H.) and Keene State's Tim Coppingger (Schenectedy, N.Y.) both settled into the middle innings, until Knell drove home Ramirez with a single back up the middle in the home half of the fifth. Tellier rounded freshman Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) in the sixth with a base knock.
The hosts entered the top of the eighth inning with an 8-6 advantage before Robbie Carrillo (Melrose, Mass.) got out of the jam, inducing an inning ending double play and stranding a runner on third.
In the ninth, one run would come across as the Corsair defense traded the run for an out, before Carrillo got Longley to groundout to Ramirez to end the game.
Inside the Numbers
- The first game marked the fourth time on the season that the Corsairs did not successfully swipe a base. UMass Dartmouth previously 0-3 in those games.
- With Knell's fourth homerun of the season in game two, he pulls into a three-way tie for the LEC lead with teammate Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) and Western Connecticut's Frank Vartuli (Westport, Conn.).
- UMass Dartmouth last swept Keene State in 2015, when they took the series by 7-1 and 16-3 scores, respectively. The Corsairs still trail in the all-time series, 23-27.
UMass Dartmouth will host the Babson Beavers on Monday for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference tilt. Keene State will play its fourth game in three days tomorrow at Tufts with a 1 p.m. start time.