GORHAM, Maine -- Junior Danny Brown’s (Hudson, N.H.) walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted second-seeded UMass Boston to a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth in opening round play of the 2019 Little East Conference Baseball Championships Wednesday afternoon at Ed Flaherty Field.
The Beacons, who improve to 27-11 overall, advance to take on the winner of the final opening round game between third-seeded Rhode Island College and fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut on Thursday evening at 7:00 pm. The Corsairs, who fall to 17-20 on the season with the setback, will square off with sixth-seeded Castleton in an elimination round contest on Thursday at Noon.
The game featured a pitcher’s duel between UMass Dartmouth senior All-American Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass.) and UMass Boston junior Ben Gottesman (Acton, Mass.), who each tossed four scoreless frames to open the game. The Corsairs broke the deadlock in the top of the fifth when junior JR DiSarcina (Barnstable, Mass.) plated freshman pinch runner Nick Carr (Sandwich, Mass.) with an RBI single up the middle, but the Beacons answered in the bottom of the frame when junior Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) drew a lead-off walk, advanced to third on a pair of errors and scored on senior Nick Herzog’s (Riverhead, N.Y.) sacrifice fly.
UMass Dartmouth had three chances to take a late lead before the game entered extra innings, as the Corsairs stranded two runners each in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames. Each team left a runner on in the 10th, as the Corsairs had runners at second and third in the top of the 11th but were unable to score to set up the decisive bottom half of the inning. Senior Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) rapped out a one-out single up the middle for UMass Boston, and he advanced to third on a two-out double to center off the bat of senior Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.). Brown then provided the heroics with his single down the left field line that scored Boudrias and enabled the Beacons to advance in the winner’s bracket.
Boudrias and senior Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) each had two hits as part of a seven-hit attack on the day for UMass Boston, as senior Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) earned his second win of the spring with 3 1/3 scoreless frames that featured five strikeouts. Gottesman allowed five hits and fanned four in 5 1/3 innings for the Beacons, who received a pair of scoreless frames from sophomore Tylor Arruda (New Bedford, Mass.).
Junior Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) rapped out three hits in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which received two hits from DiSarcina as part of a seven-hit performance. Cronin scattered three hits and struck out seven over seven innings of work for the Corsairs, as Tellier suffered the setback in allowing four and fanning two over 3 2/3 frames to fall to 1-3 on the season.
UMass Dartmouth and Castleton (17-20) split their two regular season in a doubleheader played on April 12th at the UMD Baseball Field, as the two squads traded 3-1 triumphs on the day. The Spartans dropped a 5-3 opening round decision to top-seeded and second-ranked Southern Maine in the first game of the championships on Wednesday.
(Photo Credit: Darryl Konicki, Little East Assistant Commissioner)