LAKELAND, Fla. – Starting their season 3-0 for the first time since the 2012 season, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth saw eight different Corsairs come across the plate in its 8-3 victory over Wartburg College on Saturday afternoon at Henley Field.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 8, Wartburg 3
Records: UMass Dartmouth 3-0, Wartburg 6-2
How it Happened
Toeing the rubber for his first career start for the Blue and Gold was junior Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.), who earned the win in five shutout innings, walking just one and striking out a career-high eight. Wartburg freshman starter Dylan Gotto (Peosta, Iowa) received the loss, giving up eight runs and nine hits over four frames of work.
UMass Dartmouth junior Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) continued his multi-hit streak by extending it to three such performances, doubling and blasting a homer to left center while driving in a pair and scoring a run to add to his line. Classmate Pat Vartanian (Canton, Mass.) got the start for the Corsairs in left, picking up two RBI's out of the bottom half of the order. Sophomore Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) notched three hits on the afternoon, finishing just a homerun shy of the cycle.
For the Knights, senior leadoff man Blake Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) paced the offense with a pair of base-knocks and scored a run while swiping two bags as well. Wartburg also received production from its ninth spot of the order as senior Clay Henning (Plymouth, Wis.) went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
With the bases loaded in the second, Vartanian got the Corsair bats going as he placed a ball just inside the left field foul line to bring home two. After Tellier continued the momentum via roping a pitch up the middle to plate freshman Jose Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.), sophomore Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) singled through the left side for a 5-0 Corsair lead. UMass Dartmouth put an exclamation point on the second stanza behind the swing of Ramirez, who homered to left center for a 7-0 advantage.
In the top of the seventh, sophomore reliever Shane Reardon (Kinnelon, N.J.) ran into trouble as the Knights loaded the bases with no one out, yielding the entry of sophomore Louis Berdicia (Mahopac, N.Y.) from the bullpen. Despite surrendering a four-pitch walk to allow the first Wartburg run, he induced freshman Ryan King Jr. (Elwood, Ill.) into grounding into a 4-6-3 double-play to trade the next run for a pair of outs. Senior second baseman Josh O'Neill (Halifax, Mass.) did a terrific job of sticking with the play, as the high-chopper took a high hop that the Corsair middle infielder leapt for and still pivoted to short for the front-end of the two-for-one.
Sophomore Dean Streich (North Kingstown, R.I.) came on to pitch for the Corsairs to begin the eighth inning, successfully silencing the Knights in his two frames of work by striking out a pair.
Inside the Numbers
- The Corsair pitching staff has been off to a hot start, striking out 39 batters through the first three games of the season.
- On the offensive end, UMass Dartmouth is currently averaging seven runs per game on the young season.
- Typically utilized coming out of the bullpen, Cronin's five-inning outing eclipses his previous career-high inning total of 2.1, which occurred on March 30, 2015 versus UMass Boston (12-11 win).
UMass Dartmouth returns to the field for a doubleheader tomorrow against Springfield College. The Corsairs will play at Lake Myrtle Field #2 with game times set for 9:15 a.m. and 12 p.m.