BOSTON, Mass.—Junior Ryan McCormick's (Cumberland, R.I.) go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference, as #23/24 UMass Boston baseball earned a 5-4 comeback win over New England College in game one of their Super Regional.
#23/24 UMass Boston 5, New England College 4
(UMass Boston 34-11)
(New England College 28-17)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After trailing 2-0 early and 4-3 into the eighth, McCormick's two-run single plated Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.) and Danny Brown (Hudson, N.H.) to give the Beacons their first lead since the top of the fifth inning.
With the win, UMass Boston needs just one win on Saturday, to earn a trip to their third College World Series in 10 years. New England College will have to win game two, to force the if necessary contest.
McCormick led the Beacons offensively by going 2-3 with a run scored, two RBI and a walk. Riley added two hits, including a triple, and two runs scored. Brown was the final Beacon to score, as he scored twice and reached on a single and a walk.
Senior Fernando Burgos (Hyde Park, Mass.) took a no-decision, after allowing 10 hits and four earned runs over five innings. Tylor Arruda (New Bedford, Mass.) came on in relief and allowed just two walks over two-plus scoreless innings.
Senior Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) earned his 12th save of the season by holding the Pilgrims to one hit and one walk over two innings. His strikeout in the ninth inning was the 150th punch out of his career.
New England College ace Nick Powers was the tough-luck loser. The senior lefty posted his third-straight complete game, as he scattered 10 hits and five earned runs over eight innings. He struck out two and walked a season-high four batters.
Pilgrims freshman Anderson Jimenez led the visitors by going 2-4 with a run scored and one RBI. Xavier Nunez added two hits and Connor Morin finished 1-4 with two runs and one walk.
New England College showed no fear, as they jumped all over Burgos in the top of the first. Christian Aybar singled to lead off the inning, took second and third on wild pitches and then scored on Jimenez' sacrifice fly. Morin walked and then moved to third base with two outs on a Nunez double. Luis Atiles hit a ball onto the left side that Riley dove to his right to stop, but couldn't get the ball out of his glove in time to stop the run from coming in. Burgos got out of the inning by retiring Powers on a fly out to right center.
After going down quietly in the first, UMass Boston erupted for three runs in the second. Riley opened the inning by tripling into the triangle in right-center and then scoring on a wild pitch. Brown followed with a single up the middle and McCormick walked to put two runners on. After Nico Kydes (Stamford, Conn.) put down a sac bunt to move both runners up, Charlie Huegi (Sandy Hook, Conn.) ripped a double down the left-field line to score both runners.
UMass Boston had a chance to extend their lead in the fourth, but the Beacons couldn't scratch across a run, despite having runners at second and third with no outs.
The Pilgrims made them pay in the top of the fifth. Each of the first two batters singled, and Aybar came in to score when he tagged from second on a fly ball down the right field line and the throw got away on the attempted tag at third base. The Pilgrims would load the bases on a Nunez single and a hit by pitch and then took the lead, as Powers singled through the right side to score Morin.
With the bases still loaded and one out, Joe Maestu grounded into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
New England College turned an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the fifth with a 3-6 twin killing.
The score would stay 5-4 through the next two innings, despite both teams having chances in the seventh.
New England College put Evan Delaney on with one out, only for the Nunez to line into an-inning ending double play, as McCormick caught the ball and tagged first base for the final two outs.
UMass Boston put two runners on with two outs, but Kyle Boudrias' (Medford, Mass.) fly ball to right was caught by Delaney at the wall.
New England College had another good chance to score in eighth. The Pilgrims put the first two runners on against Arruda with a walk and an error. Tramondozzi came on and retired the first batter on a sac bunt that moved both runners up. He retired Jameson Carey on a short fly out to right and then after an intentional walk, induced a groundout to short to get out of the inning.
UMass Boston finally came through in the eighth. Nick Cotraro (Beverly, Mass.) opened the inning with a double and was replaced by Danny Collazo (Stamford, Conn.)-who was pinch running. Riley walked to put two runners on, but Powers jumped on a sac bunt attempt from Brown and got the lead runner for a huge first out. With both runners in motion on a double steal, McCormick fisted a single into shallow left-center and Brown came all the way in from first to score. Powers minimized the damage with an inning-ending double play
Morin nearly had an extra-base hit to start the top of the ninth, but the wind deadened the ball and Brown made a diving catch to keep Morin off the base paths. Delaney singled up the middle with one out, but Tramondozzi struck out Nunez and then retired Atiles on a lineout to center.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston earned their eight-consecutive postseason win and their 19th victory in their last 20 contests.
- Tramondozzi moved into sole possession of fourth place with his 150th career strikeout.
- UMass Boston earned their 12th-straight win at Monan Park and improved to 18-4 overall at Monan. The Beacons are now 74-19 (79.6 winning percentage) in the four-year history of Monan Park.
- Burgos became the first player to ever reach 250 career innings pitched (251.1 innings) in today's contest. The Beacons are now 11-1 in games he's started this season.
- Riley's triple off of Powers in the second inning, was the first triple or home run that the New England College ace had allowed all season.
- With the win, UMass Boston is now 18-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 1-0 in Super Regional contests.
- Huegi's double was his eighth double in his last nine games. He is riding an 11-game winning streak and is hitting .459 (17-37) over the last 11 games.
UMass Boston will host the Pilgrims on Saturday with a spot in the 2019 College World Series on the line. The Beacons will need to win just one contest, while the Pilgrims need to win two. Game two on Saturday is set for Noon, while the third game in the Super Regional would be played 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game ending.