WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth baseball team overcame a four-run deficit to take the lead into the ninth inning, but Saint Joseph's College (Maine) sophomore right fielder Tim Beaudette (Uxbridge, Mass.) delivered the decisive two-run single to give the Monks a 7-5 victory this morning at Chain of Lakes Field #2.
Saint Joseph (Conn.) improved its overall record to 7-3, while UMass Dartmouth dropped its season-opener.
Facing their final out with a bases loaded opportunity, Beaudette drove a two-run single up the middle to regain the Monks' advantage. Saint Joseph's was able to add an insurance run off a passed ball, but the Corsairs mitigated the damage by cutting down a second runner at the plate to end the inning.
Junior designated hitter Alex Newton (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) went 3-for-4 with a RBI triple to pace the Corsairs' offensive attack. Classmate first baseman Alberto Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass./O'Bryant) also registered multiple hits (2-for-4), while junior left fielder Tyler Andrade (Acushnet, Mass./Greater New Bedford) drove in a pair of runs.
Sophomore left fielder Taylor Reuillard (Biddeford, Maine) led Saint Joseph's with a 3-for-5 showing at the dish. Junior first baseman Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus), classmate catcher Joe Coyne (Duxbury, Mass.), and senior centerfielder Louie Vigars (Stratham, N.H.) each recorded two hits apiece.
Trailing by a run in the bottom of the eighth, Vasquez laced a double down the left field line to put the tying run in scoring position. Newton forged a 4-all tie with a triple into the centerfield gap, while Andrade gave UMass Dartmouth its only lead of the contest with a RBI single to the shortstop. The Corsairs tried to tack on an insurance run, but the Monks induced a ground ball double play to get out of a first and third jam.
UMass Dartmouth was finally able to solve Saint Joseph's starter Alex Valenti (Lawrence, Mass./Central Catholic) in the sixth inning. Junior shortstop Nate Farias (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) opened the frame with a double to left centerfield and advanced to third on a passed ball. The Corsairs' cracked the scoring column on a sacrifice fly by sophomore second baseman Connor Shaw (Goffstown, N.H.) to right field. UMD continued to apply the pressure on Valenti with consecutive singles before junior right fielder Ben Monteiro (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) delivered a RBI single to left centerfield. Newton loaded the bases with an infield single, and UMass Dartmouth capitalized on a Monks' defensive miscue to whittle its deficit to 4-3.
Saint Joseph's scored three runs in the third to break open a scoreless game, and extended its advantage with an unearned run in the fourth.
Junior Nick Fuller (New Bedford, Mass.) received a no-decision in his first start of the season, allowing four runs, two of which were earned, on four hits, while striking out five in four innings of work. Classmate Ethan Kelley (New Bedford, Mass./Bishop Stang) was sharp in his debut, surrendering just four singles. Sophomore Matt Russell (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs on four hits over the final two and a third innings.
Sophomore Corey McNamara (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket) tossed the final three innings to earn the victory, limiting the Corsairs to two runs on four hits. Valenti gave up seven hits and three runs over the first six innings to receive a no-decision.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, when the Corsairs face Daniel Webster College at McKeel Academy in Auburndale, Fla.