DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Freshman Colin Nicklas (Plymouth, Mass.) turned in a strong performance out of the bullpen to contain the Bears as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth defeated Bridgewater State, 5-4, in its home opener at the UMD baseball field on Thursday afternoon.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 5, Bridgewater State 4
Records: UMass Dartmouth 10-3, Bridgewater State 4-7
How it Happened
The Corsairs continued their season-long trend of doing their most damage in the second inning, as it commenced with a walk by sophomore Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.). With men on second and third, senior Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.) looped a ball down the left field line to bring in a run, and then hustled into scoring position on heads up base running with the Bears tossing the ball in towards the hot corner. Leading 1-0, the Blue and Gold doubled their advantage on the throwing error by catcher Drew Gentile (Lynn, Mass.) as he attempted a snap throw unsuccessfully. UMass Dartmouth added two more through junior Chris Wood's (Berkley, Mass.) sacrifice fly; followed by a double-steal that senior Josh O'Neil (Halifax, Mass.) swiped home on.
Bridgewater State got to Curran in the fourth inning, scratching six hits across in their turn at the plate. A Gentile single to right-center brought home a run, however a terrific relay throw by shortstop Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) hosed senior Reed Pike (Bellingham, Mass.). With the bases loaded and runners in motion with the full count, senior Ryan Kelleher (Danvers, Mass.) singled to make it a one-run ballgame. In the fifth, the Bears tied it up as Baker made a lunging stop to retire Pike with the infield back, scoring sophomore Sean Casey (Braintree, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth re-seized the lead on Ramirez's line-drive single over the third baseman's head to plate sophomore Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.). In the eighth, relief pitcher Nicklas exited amidst what would be his final frame of work due to injury. The freshman went three-plus innings, allowing just two hits and an unearned run. Freshman Logan Maitland (Tiverton, R.I.) worked into and out of trouble in the ninth, earning his first career save topped off by a Polignone throw to third that erased the runner attempting to advance on a delivery that got a short distance away.
Inside the Numbers
- With a four-spot today in the second inning, the Corsairs keep on doing damage early in ballgames. The squad has now scored 18 runs in the second stanza of contests for their highest-scoring frame. They score their next most in the seventh (16).
- The Blue and Gold bounce back from Sunday's loss, maintaining the trend of never having lost consecutive games on the season to this point.
- With a 3-for-4 performance at the dish, Tellier has reached base safely in all 13 games this year.
- Corsair hitters have compiled at least seven hits in all games this season.
- Furthermore, they have racked up at least one extra-base hit in 11 straight affairs and 12 of their last 13.
- UMass Dartmouth batters struck out a season-low three times at the plate.
The Corsairs are slated to begin Little East Conference play on Saturday, with the doubleheader game times scheduled for 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. hosting Plymouth State.