KEENE, N.H. -- Junior Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) rapped out six hits, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort in the nightcap, as UMass Dartmouth swept a Little East Conference baseball doubleheader from Keene State on Sunday afternoon by scores of 4-1 in the opener and 11-1 in the nightcap at the Owl Athletic Complex.
The visiting Corsairs (16-17, 7-6 LEC) extended their winning streak to four straight and moved into a tie for third place in the Little East standings with the results, as UMass Dartmouth overcame a 1-0 first inning deficit in the opener to even matters in the fourth on senior Pat Vartanian’s (Canton, Mass.) sacrifice fly. That score held up until the seventh when sophomore Tucker Hetherman’s (Webster, Mass.) RBI double plated the go-ahead run, and junior JR DiSarcina (Barnstable, Mass.) followed with a single that scored Hetherman to extend the Corsairs’ lead to 3-1. Junior Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) added an insurance tally in the ninth for the visitors with an RBI groundout, and senior All-America Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) combined with Tellier to take care of the rest on the mound for UMass Dartmouth. Cronin scattered five hits and struck out 10 over seven innings of work to even his record at 3-3 on the season, while Tellier tossed two scoreless frames to earn his fifth save of the spring.
DiSarcina, Tellier and sophomore Nate Stewart (Newnan, Ga.) each had two hits as part of a 10-hit opening game attack for the Corsairs, who also received a double off the bat of Vartanian. Senior Connor Longley (Foxboro, Mass.) accounted for the host Owls’ (9-21, 3-10 LEC) lone run of the lid-lifter with an RBI single, as Cronin and Tellier limited Keene State to four hits in the opening contest. Senior Brandon Heath (Charlestown, N.H.) allowed three runs and struck out five over the first 6 1/3 innings on the mound to fall to 1-5 for the hosts.
The Corsairs jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in their first at-bat of the nightcap, as Tellier’s RBI single and a run-scoring double by Vartanian sandwiched an error in the opening inning of action. Knell reached double figures in the home run column in the third by belting a solo shot that ignited another three run rally by the visitors, as the round-tripper was followed by Vartanian’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) that extended UMass Dartmouth’s lead to 6-0.
Knell touched ‘em all once again in the top of the fourth, as his two-run shot (and 11th of the season) highlighted a four-run frame that included RBI singles by Vartanian and Stewart to increase the Corsair edge to 10-0. Stewart’s second run-scoring single of the second contest capped the visitors’ scoring, and the Owls broke up the shutout in their final at-bat when senior David Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn.) laced an RBI double to account for the final margin.
Knell added a double to finish with 10 total bases in the nightcap win for UMass Dartmouth, as Tellier rapped out a pair of two-baggers as part of his four hit performance. Vartanian and Stewart added three hits each to help the quartet account for all 13 Corsair hits in the second contest, and Hetherman took care of the rest on the mound for the visitors. The righthander scattered four hits and struck out five to win for the fourth time in five decisions for UMass Dartmouth, as all four of his triumphs have come in league play. Sophomore Greg Poggioli (Deer Park, N.Y.) suffered the setback on the mound for Keene State in the nightcap, as he allowed two earned runs in 2/3 of an inning of work to fall to 1-4 on the spring.
UMass Dartmouth hosts UMass Boston in a Little East Conference matchup on Tuesday afternoon at the UMD Baseball Field beginning at 3:30 pm, while Keene State travels to Plymouth, N.H. to square off with Plymouth State in a Little East clash that also begins at 3:30 pm.