Knell, Nichols Pace UMass Dartmouth to Split with Roger Williams

Knell, Nichols Pace UMass Dartmouth to Split with Roger Williams

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Freshman Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) blasted a pair of homeruns in his home debut, as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth split with Roger Williams on Wednesday afternoon. After dropping the first game 7-6, the Corsairs rebounded in the nightcap to claim a 10-2 victory.

The Basics
Scores: Roger Williams 7, UMass Dartmouth 6| UMass Dartmouth 10, Roger Williams 2
Records: UMass Dartmouth (9-7) | Roger Williams (5-11)

How it Happened 

Roger Williams 7, UMass Dartmouth 6
Knell and senior Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) led the way for the Corsairs offense, each going 3-for-4 at the dish, but a Hawk homer in the top of the seventh sealed the one-run advantage for the visitors.

Roger Williams had the bats working early on Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.), striking three hits in the top of the second. Joey Gulino (Meriden, Conn.) plated two runs on a double and the next batter, Ryan McDermott (Wrentham, Mass.), singled to left field, but was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play.

UMass Dartmouth sent a run across in the bottom half of the inning when sophomore Josh O'Neill (Halifax, Mass.) singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Knell from second. The Hawks extended their lead with two runs in the third, before junior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) hit a single up the middle, plating Cacciola.

In the fourth, the Corsairs cut into the Roger Williams lead with a solo shot by Knell to lead off the inning. Senior Ezequiel Sanchez (Mantai, Puerto Rico) then hit a sacrifice fly to left field, deep enough to score Zach Courier (Mansfield, Mass.) from third.

UMass Dartmouth would tie the game up at five a side when Cacciola singled to right field, plating Tellier from third in the bottom of the sixth, but the knotted score wouldn't last long.  Justin Stone (Blackstone, Mass.) sent a two-run homer to center, regaining the lead for the Hawks in the top half of the seventh.

In the bottom half, Knell lifted his second solo shot of the game to bring UMass Dartmouth within one. The Corsairs would load the bases with just one out in the inning, but the Hawks' pitching staff managed out of the jam without allowing the tying run.

UMass Dartmouth 10, Roger Williams 2

Game two was all UMass Dartmouth, as freshman David Nichols (Harwich, Mass.) struck out four in his first career start before Chase Hussey (Claremont, N.H.) claimed his first career win upon wrapping up the final two in a five-inning affair.

Out of the gates, Curran doubled to center, scoring Michael and Cacciola. Roger Williams answered with a run of their own in the top half of the second when Stone scored on a Bryan Terzian (Westport, Conn.) double.

Courier blasted his second home run of the season in the bottom of the inning, with a three-run jack to make it 5-1 in favor of UMass Dartmouth.

The onslaught didn't end there as the Corsairs tacked on five more in the third. Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) laced a double down the left field line, scoring Michael from second. Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) collected his own double to left field, scoring both Knell and Ramirez. After a fly out, Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) switched places with Baker, with a double to right field.

Roger Williams upped its run total to two on a McDermott double, but the game was called due to darkness after the Hawks' at-bat. Nichols and Hussey combined to strike out six, permitting just two Hawk hits and only one run earned.

Inside the Numbers 

  • UMass Dartmouth has played in four doubleheaders so far this season. The Corsairs are 4-0 in the nightcaps thus far.
  • Knell becomes the first Corsair to notch a pair of homers in a game since Ervin Kantardzic knocked two in a 20-9 win over Framingham State last season.
  • The Corsair loss in game one snapped a five-game winning streak, the longest a UMass Dartmouth team has strung together since the 2015 season when they won five-straight from March 30 to April 6.
  • After today's games, the Corsairs lead the all-time series over Roger Williams 29-10.
  • UMass Dartmouth and Roger Williams have now split their series the past three seasons.

Up Next
UMass Dartmouth will be back in action tomorrow, hosting Worcester for a 3 p.m. single game.  Roger Williams returns to Commonwealth Coast Conference action against Wentworth for a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m.