NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth baseball team placed the potential tying-run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, but Worcester State University was able to track down a deep line drive to fend off the Corsairs and earn the 6-4 non-conference baseball victory this afternoon.
UMass Dartmouth evened its overall record at 18-18, while Worcester State closed out its regular-season with a 22-14 mark.
Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth, junior Ben Monteiro (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) earned a four-pitch walk and moved to second on an infield single by senior Wayne Bolz (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial). With one out, junior Ryan Medeiros (Acushnet, Mass./New Bedford) put the tying run in scoring position with a ground out to the right side of the diamond. Junior David Reggiero (Peabody, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) was able to work out of the jam and earn his first save of the season as junior George Agostini (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) laced a line drive to centerfield that was caught on the warning track.
The Lancers jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage, scoring a pair of runs in the second and third innings. Junior Nick Gikas (Danvers, Mass.) flicked the pay-off pitch into right centerfield with two outs to produce a two-run single to cap the visitors third inning.
The Corsairs were finally able to solve the Worcester State pitching staff in the middle innings, pushing across a run in the fourth and fifth to whittle their deficit to 4-2. Junior Alex Newton (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) drove in the hosts' first run with a RBI-double, while Medeiros lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield in the fifth.
The visitors capitalized on a hit by pitch and an errant throw to extend their lead in the seventh to 5-2. UMass Dartmouth responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth, when Newton delivered a two-out single to right field to drive in his second and third runs of the ballgame.
Freshman Jake Ryan (Whitinsville, Mass./Northbridge) turned the momentum back into the Lancers' favor with a lead-off triple in the ninth. Ryan would later score on a passed ball to give the visitors a key insurance run.
Newton was the Corsairs offensive catalyst, turning in a 2-for-4 performance at the dish with three RBI. Monteiro also registered multiple hits with a 2-for-3 showing as the visitors limited their hosts to just nine hits.
Sophomore George Bent (Barnstable, Mass.) was effective in relief, scattering nine hits and two runs, one of which was earned, over the course of six innings. Classmate Matt Russell (Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex) was charged with the loss (1-3) after working three full innings.
The latter part of the Worcester State lineup--senior Joe Carlier (3-for-5), Gikas (3-for-4), and freshman Nick Cardoni (2-for-4)--combined for eight hits, three RBI, and two runs scored. Junior Zach George (Attleboro, Mass.) was 3-for-5 from the dish, while freshman Joe Kasper (Lynn, Mass./St. Mary's) went 2-for-4 as the Lancers pounded out 16 hits.
Freshman starter Tyler Barrie (Oxford, Mass.) was credited with his first win of the season, throwing two scoreless innings. The visitors' combined to use a total of six pitchers in preparation for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament later this week.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., when the Corsairs host Framingham State University. Top-seeded Worcester State will await the winner between the fourth and fifth seeds in the MASCAC tournament on Friday, May 2.