AUBURNDALE, Fla. – In the Corsairs' first battle of the 2018 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, senior Ben Lodge (Blackstone, Mass.) turned in a strong outing to pilot the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 3-2 victory over Nichols College on Friday night at Lake Myrtle Field #6.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 3, Nichols 2
Records: UMass Dartmouth 2-0, Nichols 1-3
How it Happened
The top two hitters in the Corsair lineup combined to go 4-for-8, as sophomore Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) and junior Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) each tallied a pair of base hits. Senior Ben Lodge (Blackstone, Mass.) turned in a strong outing for UMass Dartmouth, striking out 12 Bison and limiting Nichols to just one run (unearned) over 6.2 innings.
Bison senior Cam Cook (Phoenixville, Pa.) picked up two hits for his squad, while classmate Chris Anderson (Naugatuck, Conn.) doubled and drove in two in the hosts' effort. On the mound, junior Danny Hayden (East Greenwich, R.I.) received the no-decision for Nichols, despite giving up just one run and four hits over six innings.
After Tellier worked a leadoff walk on four pitches to start the Corsair offense, he immediately sped his way over to second on a passed ball off of the catcher's right shin guard. Ramirez then got under a Hayden delivery and hit a towering fly ball to center field, however the fly out was deep enough to advance Tellier to third. Despite Hayden getting Knell to strike out swinging, his hustle down to first base following the dropped third strike forced freshman catcher Alexander Stroshine (Keene, N.H.) to make a throw down to first that bought Tellier enough time to dive head-first into home for the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Stroshine reached on a throwing error by Lodge and found himself standing on second base with no outs in the frame. Cook advanced his man over to third with a productive groundout to the right side to set up Anderson's RBI double to left, scratching across the unearned run. With momentum building in the Bisons' favor, the Corsairs' defensive awareness bailed them out of the stanza; on Bouchard's single through the left side, Ramirez cut off senior Kenny Michael's (Norwood, Mass.) throw from left field and flipped it to sophomore third baseman Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) to tag out Anderson trying to get back to the bag.
Junior Jose Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) took first base in the top of the seventh as he was hit on the left arm with a Hayden fastball, promptly stealing second moments later. Stroshine made a throw down to second to try and catch Vasquez taking too far of a secondary lead, but airmailed the attempt over the second baseman's leaping try to allow the junior to advance to third. UMass Dartmouth took the lead, 2-1, on a wild pitch in the dirt that got Vasquez to scurry home.
The Corsairs made use of Tellier's speed once again - this time in the eighth inning - as he immediately stole second following his single to left. He completed his circle around the bases via two more wild pitches, scoring the third run of the night for the visitors.
Sophomore reliever Robbie Carrilo (Melrose, Mass.) worked his way out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth to keep the Corsair advantage at two, as the hurler got sophomore Payton Habeger (Sacramento, Calif.) to foul-tip the third strike into the mitt of senior Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.).
Nichols did not go down quietly in their last chance of the contest, as they loaded the bases and scratched a run across through Anderson's swinging bunt up the first base line to bring sophomore Christopher Cerniglia (Monroe, N.J.) home. Carrilo kept his composure, though, and got senior Nick Roy (Middletown, Conn.) to chop a ball to short for the game-ending putout.
Inside the Numbers
- Lodge's previous career-high strikeout total was nine, which came on Mar. 18 of last year against William-Paterson (6-0 win).
- Carrilo's outing of 2.1 innings ties his longest performance of his career, as he went that same length twice last year.
- With his second multi-hit game in as many contests this season, Ramirez is six games ahead of last year's pace in reaching such a total.
- The Corsairs start their season 2-0 for the first time since the 2015 campaign.
UMass Dartmouth will clash with Wartburg tomorrow at 3 p.m. on Henley Field.