BOSTON, Mass. – The late inning heroics of the 2017 season continued Saturday afternoon as senior catcher Anthony Searles (Shelton, Conn.) drove in the game-winning run on a double to center field to give baseball a 6-5 win over Suffolk University at Monan Park.
UMass Boston 6, Suffolk University 5
UMass Boston (6-4)
Suffolk University (4-6)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With runners on first and second and no outs on the scoreboard, Searles, who has been struggling as of late recorded his biggest hit of the young season to give the Beacons the win. In what was supposed to be a non-conference doubleheader between the crosstown rivals, turned into just the one game, due to frigid temperatures and rain.
After a Dan Mantoni (Northbridge, Mass.) lead-off walk, the Beacons quickly turned to the speedy Lionel Danielson (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) to take over on the base paths. Danielson wasted little time stealing second base, which would then set-up a back-and-forth dance between the sophomore and Suffolk pitcher Mark Fusco.
Distracted by Danielson's speed, Fusco was unable to get Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) at the plate, as he walked the junior first baseman to put runners on first and second. From there all Searles needed was one pitch to end Saturday's rain soaked affair, as he ripped a liner to dead center, which easily scored Danielson to give UMB the non-conference win.
Saturday's crucial in-region win went to Matt Tulley (Lowell, Mass.), who closed out the final 3.1. The Division 1 transfer allowed just two hits, and one walk and also had five strikeouts. Mantoni, who got the start against the Rams, lasted 5.2 and allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits, and had six K's.
The Beacons jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second as they took advantage of a pair of Suffolk errors. UMB would hold that lead until the top of the sixth inning. Just like UMB, the Rams took advantage of defensive errors, which allowed them to score five runs, only two of which were earned to take a then three run lead.
The three run deficit did not last long as senior Dave Murphy (Plymouth, Mass.) knocked in the Beacons third run of the game on a sacrifice fly to right field, which plated Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.). The Beacons fourth run of the afternoon was the result of a wild pitch, which allowed Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) to come home safely.
The Rams did manage to get out the inning with their slim lead intact. However Suffolk's offense was completely neutralized by Tulley, which allowed the Beacons to keep the game within reach. In the eighth inning a pinch hit double by Ryan McCormick (Cumberland, R.I.) tied the game at 5-5, setting up the ninth inning heroics by Searles.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Both teams recorded eight hits in the contest
- Huegi finished the win 2-for-2, both doubles, with three runs scored and two walks
- Fusco fell to 1-2 on the year after giving up the game-winning run in the ninth; He went two complete innings and allowed the two runs, both earned, on three hits, while also walking two and striking out two
- Saturday's meeting marked the first time that UMass Boston had faced Suffolk on a home field since the 1996 season; It was also the first time the two teams had faced each other in New England since 2011
- UMB has now won four of their last five meetings with the Rams
The Beacons will travel to Westfield State University on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. non-conference game.