Costa Belts Two Homers, Knocks in Seven, as RIC Wins Slugfest With UMass Dartmouth
Providence, R.I.-Freshman third baseman Justin Costa (Cranston, RI) hit his first two collegiate home runs and knocked in seven runs as Rhode Island College came back from a 13-5 deficit to win, 15-14, over UMass Dartmouth in Little East Conference baseball action.
Rhode Island College (7-21, 2-5 LEC) and UMass Dartmouth (10-14, 3-4 LEC) combined for 29 runs and 31 hits in the slugfest.
The Corsairs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as freshman right fielder Connor Shaw (Goffstown, NH) smacked a one out triple to right center field and scored on sophomore third baseman George Aggostini's (Dighton, MA) follow-up RBI double to left center. With two down, sophomore designated hitter Alex Newton (Saco, ME) was hit by a pitch and both he and Aggostini scored on senior catcher Matt Worden's (New Bedford, MA) double off the left field wall.
RIC quickly cut its deficit to a run as senior center fielder Kevin Carey (Wakefield, RI) ripped a one out double to right field, moved over to third on a wild pitch and scored on freshman catcher Matt Foley's (Seekonk, MA) two-run homer (6) to center.
The Corsairs tacked on four runs in the second to build a 7-2 lead as Aggostini and sophomore left fielder Luke Bomback (Swansea, MA) each cracked RBI singles. Worden dealt a big blow with a two run single before the Anchormen could get out of the frame.
UMD scored on an error in the third to make it 8-2, before the hosts answered back with three runs in the home half of the frame. Senior shortstop Zach Hubbard (Kissimmee, FL) and Foley reached with singles and came home on Costa's first career home run.
Newton homered in fourth and then the visitors rattled off another four in the fifth. Shaw came across on an error after doubling and Newton belted a three-run shot (4), his second of the day.
Junior designated hitter Alex Verrecchia (Cranston, RI) attempted to get the Anchormen back into the game in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out solo homer (1).
In the seventh, RIC rallied with seven runs to tie the game, 13-13. Sophomore second baseman Tyler Collins (Cranston, RI) was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and later scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Costa brought the Anchormen back into contention with one out grand slam (2). RIC had runners on second and third with two down when a UMD error allowed junior first baseman Justin Rainville (Lincoln, RI) and Verrecchia to trot home with the tying runs.
Not to be outdone, the visitors quickly regained the advantage in the seventh as the first two batters reached and Aggostini singled in sophomore center fielder Ryan Medeiros (Acushnet, MA).
Once again Rhode Island College got up off the mat as the Anchormen put sophomore left fielder Dean Grasso (Cranston, RI) and Foley aboard to start the seventh. Rainville doubled to left field to bring in the duo and give the hosts their first lead of the day.
UMD threatened in the top of the ninth, putting runners on first and second with two out, but Morvan struck out Worden to end the game.
RIC sophomore pitcher Kyle Morvan (Smithfield, RI) picked up his first win (1-0), allowing just one run on two hits in four innings of scoreless relief. UMD reliever Brian Clark (Newfields, NH) took the loss (0-1).
Carey went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Foley went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBI.
Shaw went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, a double and a triple for the visitors. Aggostini went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, three RI and a double.
In upcoming action, Rhode Island College will travel to Curry on Thursday, April 18 (3:30 p.m.).