GORHAM, Maine – Behind eight innings from senior Sean Callahan (Colchester, Vt.) and five RBIs off the bat of junior Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.), the No. 3 seed University of Massachusetts Dartmouth sailed to a 9-2 win over No. 4 Eastern Connecticut in the opening day of the 2017 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament, hosted by top seed Southern Maine.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 9, Eastern Connecticut 2
Records: UMass Dartmouth (23-18) | Eastern Connecticut (20-15)
How it Happened
For the second time this season, Callahan silenced the ECSU offense, this time going eight innings while striking out seven Warriors, allowing no more than a single hit in an inning. At the plate, Curran blasted a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to expand the Corsairs' advantage to a six-run lead.
For the Warriors, Alex Zachary (Enfield, Conn.) was the lone batter to register multiple hits on the day, knocking a pair of doubles.
In the top half of the second inning, Eastern Connecticut jumped out to an early lead, scoring one run. UMass Dartmouth answered in the home half with a pair of markers after back-to-back doubles by senior Ezequiel Sanchez (Mantai, Puerto Rico) and junior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.), capped off by a single up the middle by Curran.
In the third, the Warriors would knot the contest at two with a double off the bat of Zachary. The Corsairs then seize back the lead for good, when freshman Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) tripled to center, plating a pair of runs.
UMass Dartmouth would then only expand the lead for the remainder of the outing. When ECSU walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Curran immediately completed the payoff, sending the offering over the right field fence for the team's first grand slam of the season. The Corsairs tacked on one more run in the home half of the eighth to push the advantage up to 9-2.
Inside the Numbers
- With Wednesday's victory, the Corsairs have claimed their past four opening-round games in the Little East Conference tournament.
- In his last five starts, Callahan maintains a 1.53 ERA, fanning 30 batters over 35.1 innings pitched.
- After swiping five bags in today's contest, the Corsairs have stolen five or more bases in seven games including two against Eastern Connecticut.
UMass Dartmouth heads to the winners bracket to meet No. 2 seed UMass Boston tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. The Beacons prevailed in their opening round game in 12 innings over No. 5 Rhode Island College, 5-4 earlier in the day. The Corsairs and Beacons split their series during the regular season.