April 4, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Sophomore shortstop Ryan McDermott (Pembroke, MA/Pembroke HS) singled home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning and sophomore reliever Kyle Merrill (Dennis, MA/Dennis-Yarmouth HS) grabbed a line drive off the bat of junior left fielder Mike Palo (Brookfield, CT) and turned it into a game-ending double play in the top of the ninth inning as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's baseball team knocked off the number one team in the nation Saturday. The Corsairs edged top-ranked Eastern Connecticut State, 4-3, in a Little East Conference game at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex.
McDermott's single in the bottom of the seventh broke a 3-3 tie. He drove in sophomore catcher Zac Talis (Lynnfield, MA/Lynnfield HS), who broke for second after he was apparently caught off first base by ECSU reliever Wes Dutton (Jr. Waterbury, CT) and reached when the throw popped out of the glove of junior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford, CT).
In the top of the ninth, ECSU senior first baseman Tristan Hobbes doubled with one out and junior Travis Horrigan (Roxbury, CT) ran for him. Palo hit a line drive right back to Merrill, who caught it, wheeled and threw to McDermott for the double play that ended the game.
Senior designated hitter Casey Askeland (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS) singled in a run in the first inning to stake the Corsairs to a 1-0 lead, but the Warriors came back in the fourth, scoring on an infield grounder by senior designated hitter Shawn Gilblair (Windham, CT) to tie the score and taking a 2-1 lead in the next inning an Bass' RBI single. Askeland singled in the tying run in the sixth, and another scored on an error that gave UMD a 3-2 lead. ECSU tied it in the seventh when Palo scored on a wild pitch by Corsair junior starter Adam Gustafson (Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS).
"Adam Gustafson pitched great, we got the hits when we needed them, and we didn't allow them to have a big inning," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Curran. "They had three one-run innings, but we didn't allow them to have a big inning. I am very happy with the way we played."
Gustafson went 8 1/3 innings to earn the victory, improving his record to 1-2. Dutton took the loss for ECSU and dropped to 0-1, while Merrill earned his first save of the season.
UMD is now 5-13 and 3-0 in the Little East Conference, while ECSU is now 16-2 and 1-2 in the LEC. The Corsairs will return to action when they host UMass Boston in a Little East Conference twin bill Sunday. The Warriors will host LEC foe Plymouth State in a doubleheader Sunday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASEBALL