AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Nine different Corsairs tallied a base-hit to support sophomore Ryan Bruning's (Centerville, Mass.) seven strong innings to give the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth their fifth win in six games, defeating Spalding University by a score of 9-5 on Monday morning at Lake Myrtle Field #4. With the win, the squad moves to 5-1 for the first time since 2011.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 9, Spalding 5
Records: UMass Dartmouth 5-1, Spalding 10-3
Eight of the 18 Corsair hits came through the excellent swings of seniors Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.) and Josh O'Neil (Halifax, Mass.). Out of the bottom spot in the order, O'Neil went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a pair of RBI's while Michael took advantage of his opportunity in the three-spot, notching a trio of doubles and scoring two. In Bruning's turn on the bump, the pitcher went seven innings and allowed four runs – all unearned – and struck out seven. The top of the Spalding lineup produced positive results as the duo of sophomore Garrett Wilson (Shepherdsville, Ky.) and junior Dillon Sievert (Louisville, Ky.) went for a cumulative four hits, three runs and an RBI.
Unable to cash in on a bases-loaded opportunity in the first inning of yesterday's back-end of the doubleheader, junior Jose Vasquez(Roxbury, Mass.) came through in today's opportunity with runners in scoring position by recording a sacrifice fly to deep right, initiating the scoring for the morning. In the bottom half of the opening frame, Spalding had runners on first and second stealing while senior Clay Kelly (Louisville, Ky.) swung through strike three; an errant throw by Corsair catcher Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) out of sophomore third baseman Mike Knell's (Dennis, Mass.) reach to allow the opponent to tie things up at one.
Knell picked up his teammate to start the second stanza by launching a laser to left center for a solo homer to retake the lead for UMass Dartmouth. Minutes later, Baker redeemed himself on a double to right field that turned around the Spalding defender, bringing Vasquez in.
Spalding senior Kyle Stevens (Frankfort, Ky.) was hustling home on a close play at the plate when Vasquez fired a throw to the dish, but Baker was unable to gather it cleanly for a second score. Back in the box in the fifth inning, Baker came through again with a single to right to drive in Michael.
The Corsairs erupted for five runs in the seventh inning. Michael, who doubled for the third time in the contest and then advanced to third on a wild pitch, tried to scamper back to the bag on Baker's missile to shortstop Jeffrey Chapuran (Lexington, Ky.). Despite the infielder's spectacular diving stop, his throw to third went past third baseman Matt Harper (Russellville, Ky.) and up against the Corsair dugout for another run. Three straight hits followed, including O'Neil's quality at-bat with two strikes for last double of the day that brought home two. Corsair reliever Dean Streich (North Kingstown, R.I.), who entered at the beginning of the eighth, took care of business in the final two frames to clinch the victory for the team.
- Despite allowing six runs overall, UMass Dartmouth only surrendered unearned scores.
- The last game that the Corsairs did not allow an earned run was on April 18 of last season at Rhode Island College (7-0 win).
- The Corsairs swiped a season-high four bags today and also recorded a new standard for hits total in a single contest with 18.
- The pitching staff has been dialing it up to begin the season, posting their fifth double-digit strikeout total in six games. UMass Dartmouth sat down seven in the first seven-inning game against Springfield on Sunday.
The squad gets an off day tomorrow and then jumps back into action with a 4:45 p.m. tilt with Becker College on Wednesday at Lake Myrtle.