DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) received national recognition this morning, earning a spot on the d3baseball.com Team of the Week as one of the five selected starting pitchers. This is the twelfth weekly honor roll of the 2018 season, retroactive to game(s) taking place between April 23 and 29.
It is the third week this season that the national publication has recognized a Corsair hurler, as the latest honoree follows in the footsteps of Zack Reid (Dighton, Mass.) and Robbie Carillo (Melrose, Mass.). In game one of the Corsairs' twin bill against Eastern Connecticut on Saturday, Cronin was backed by early run support from his fellow teammates in the first frame. The junior locked in and hit his strongest stride with two outs in the fourth, retiring ten straight through the end of the seventh inning by continuing to mow down Warrior sluggers with a killer fastball-slider combination. Of his 33 total batters faced, he struck out five while inducing 12 groundouts.
With one down in the ninth inning, Cronin had his no-hit bid spoiled by Eastern Connecticut catcher Merlyn Herrera (La Yaquiza, D.R.), who ripped a hard ground ball up the middle that was knocked down by a diving Josh O'Neil (Halifax, Mass.). The right-handed hurler exited after tossing 133 pitches to pave way for freshman reliever Logan Maitland (Tiverton, R.I.) who would go on to escape the bases-loaded jam and earn Cronin his fifth win
On the year, the Framingham, Mass. product leads the Little East Conference (LEC) and the nation in earned run average (0.35) as he has gone a cumulative 51.1 innings in his nine appearances, yielding just a pair of earned scores. In his first year in a starting pitcher role, Cronin additionally appears in the top-three of two more league categories; his 55 strikeouts trail his Saturday counterpart, Jordan Muchin, in the league for most by just one, and is tied for third most wins with five victories.
In the first edition of the NCAA Div. III New England Regional Rankings, the Corsairs come in at fifth. Today, the Blue and Gold travel to Norton for a non-conference clash against regional rival Wheaton College (Mass.) before returning home tomorrow to host Tufts University at 3:30 p.m.