Vasquez Caps Comeback; Corsairs Rally Past Vikings, 6-5

Vasquez Caps Comeback; Corsairs Rally Past Vikings, 6-5

SALEM, Mass. – Junior Jose Vasquez (Roxbury, Mass.) registered a bases-clearing three-run double in the top of the ninth to cap a late rally as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth edged Salem State University, 6-5, this afternoon in NCAA Division III baseball contest at Central Campus Field.   

The Basics

Score: UMass Dartmouth 6, Salem State 5
Records: Corsairs: 12-8, Vikings: 12-9

How It Happened:
Trailing 4-0 in the top of the eighth inning, the UMass Dartmouth hitters were finally able to solve the Salem State pitching staff.  Viking start junior Andrew McLaughlin (Peabody, Mass.) exited the contest after allowing a lead-off single to senior Josh O'Neil (Halifax, Mass). After a wild pitch by reliever sophomore Ed Duran (Salem, Mass), classmate Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) followed suit with a single to center field to place runners at the corners.  Vasquez cracked the scoring column for the Corsairs with a run-producing single.  A second wild pitch of the frame moved both runners into scoring position. Senior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) cut the deficit in half with a sacrifice fly, while sophomore Erik Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) followed with an RBI single to left field.

UMass Dartmouth was able to maintain the momentum in the top of the ninth as the first two batters reached on a walk and hit by pitch, respectively.  Tellier worked a walk to load the bases with one-out.  Vasquez laced a 3-1 pitch down the left field line to clear the bases and give the visitors their first advantage of the contest. 

Salem State would not go quietly in the bottom of the ninth as the lead-off batter singled and advanced to third on a wild pitch and throwing error.  The Vikings whittled the deficit to one on a wild pitch.  However, sophomore Dean Streich (North Kingstown, R.I.) settled down to retire the next two batters with a strikeout and ground out.  A defensive miscue on a slow roller prolonged the inning, but Streich induced a come-backer to the mound to complete the comeback victory.   

The top of the revamped UMass Dartmouth lineup accounted for six of the Corsairs nine hits on the afternoon.  Vasquez led the offense with a 2-for-5 showing at the plate with season-best four RBI and a run scored.  Tellier reached base safely four of his five appearances, going 2-for-3 at the dish with a pair of walks and two runs scored, while Ramirez posted his ninth multi-hit game of the campaign.

Streich earned his first victory of the season (1-0), throwing three strong innings of relief.  The right-hander set down the first five batters he faced before scattering a single to keep the visitors within striking distance.  Senior Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass.) received a no-decision for the Corsairs after allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits over six innings.  He issued a pair of walks, but registered two strikeouts.  

Inside The Numbers:
 - Baker has now reached base in 15 straight ballgames - the longest active streak on the team. Senior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) trails close behind with nine.

 - Junior Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) broke out of his slump, snapping an 0-for-14 streak at the dish.

 - Formerly winless when trailing after eight innings this season, the squad got its first such win and moves to 1-3 under the aforementioned circumstances.

 - UMass Dartmouth's three runs in the ninth matches its previous run total for the entirety of the year.

 - The Corsairs improve their record to 2-4 when out-hit by the opponent. 

 - Vasquez has rapidly crept up on teammates Tellier (.381) and Baker (.348) for the team-lead in batting average, now hitting at a .333 clip.

Up Next:

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 3pm on Thursday, April 12, when the Corsairs travel to Roger Williams.  The Corsairs defeated the Hawks 13-5 on Thursday, April 5 in Dartmouth.