BOSTON, Mass. – A three-run homer and four RBI evening by Warrior junior Alex Parkos (Meriden, Conn.) proved to be the difference in #2 Eastern Connecticut's triumph over the #6 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 7-4, at Monan Park on Friday evening. Freshman reliever Logan Maitland (Tiverton, R.I.) was a bulldog out of the bullpen going for 3.1 frames, but it was Warrior hurler Sam Gagnon (Andover, Conn.) that ultimately stifled the Corsair offense.
Score: Warriors 7, Corsairs 4
Records: #6 UMass Dartmouth 25-15, #2 Eastern Connecticut 25-15
How it Happened
The Warriors would strike first in the third, getting the opening run through the speed of junior Ryan Hood (Arlington, Mass.). After the outfielder worked a walk and moved to second on the fielder's choice, he stole third for his 22nd swipe in 23 opportunities this year. Senior D.J. Scavone (Auburn, Mass.) then plated the next run with a sacrifice fly out to left, making it a 2-0 ballgame. With runners on first and second and the threat of more offense still looming, UMass Dartmouth would escape the sticky situation; sophomore Jake LeFevre (Mansfield Center, Conn.) broke for third on a wild pitch and slid in ahead of the throw that skipped into the turf and off of third baseman Mike Knell's (Dennis, Mass.) glove into the air towards the shortstop position. The infield general charged the loose ball, scooping it up and firing across his body all in one motion to second baseman Josh O'Neil (Halifax, Mass.), who tagged out Parkos to halt the scoring.
Corsair junior Chris Wood (Berkley, Mass.) led off the fourth with a double to the corner, promptly moving over to third on sophomore Mitch Baker's (Braintree, Mass.) fly ball to right. Knell was able to get the job done after fouling off a pair of pitches on the full count, lifting the delivery to the outfield for a run-producing plate appearance.
The Blue and Gold would signal to the bullpen with Warriors on first and second and one out, chasing sophomore Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) off the mound. Parkos widened the margin by clubbing a three-run shot to left, extending the lead to 5-1, before freshman Anthony Stigler (Mansfield, Conn.) added another via locating a sac fly deep enough to center to plate Scavone.
UMass Dartmouth would look to mount its comeback right away, beginning with senior Mac Curran's (Lakeville, Mass.) double down the right field line ahead of O'Neil's single to set up runners on the corners. Tellier, who moved to the slot of designated hitter after stepping off the mound, delivered an RBI double to the gap that skipped passed centerfielder Alexander White (West Hartford, Conn.) to chip away at the deficit, 6-3. Warrior starter Jack Risley (Willimantic, Conn.) was knocked out of the ballgame by Baker's single the opposite way, putting the squad within two.
Eastern Connecticut had the hit and run play on to commence the sixth, but senior Mike Funaro (Northford, Conn.) lined out straight to right fielder Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) for the front end of the 9-3 double play. Two straight walks by senior Zack Reid (Dighton, Mass.) gave way to Maitland out of the bullpen, but the newly-inserted slinger sat Parkos down in the key scenario for the Warriors. The Tiverton product showed his physical and mental toughness by tossing 3.1 innings of relief after already having made multiple appearances in the past few days, striking out six of the 14 batters he faced this evening. The Warriors caught a break in the eighth with the bases loaded as the righty was called for a balk, providing the slightest bit more of breathing room with a 7-4 scoreboard.
Down three in the ninth, UMass Dartmouth saw its 6-7-8 hitters of the order strut to the batter's box looking to extend their season. Their rally try would not surface, unable to piece together very much of any momentum while trailing. Eastern Connecticut reliever Gagnon was tremendously effective on the bump, going 4.1 shutout innings, yielding just a lone hit after pumping in 35 of his 50 pitches for strikes in the victory.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth moves to 4-1 in night games, and 7-11 when the opponent scores first.
- Curran tied his career-high two doubles from his freshman year, when he went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored on Apr. 18, 2015 at Tufts.
- O'Neil recorded his tenth multi-hit game of the season.
- Corsair hurlers stranded eight Warriors on base.
- Parkos proved to be the thorn in the Corsairs' side, tallying four RBI and a run scored.
The Corsairs will await to hear their fate on the NCAA Div. III selection show on Monday morning.