MANSFIELD, CONN. – Sophomore center
fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, Conn.) drove in a career-high
matching five runs and sophomore southpaw James Dalton (Apopka,
Fla.) won his seventh straight decision with his third shutout of
the season to lead the fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts
Boston baseball team over No. 3 seed Rhode Island College, 11-0, in
the opening round of the 2010 Little East Conference Tournament in
Mansfield, Conn.. The LEC Tournament is being hosted by top-seeded
Eastern Connecticut State University.
The Beacons improve to 25-15 and will play second-seeded Keene State College, a 6-1 winner over No. 5 seed University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, tomorrow in Mansfield at 1:15 p.m. The Anchormen fall to 21-17 and will take on Eastern Connecticut State, a 10-2 victor over sixth-seeded University of Southern Maine.
UMass Boston wasted no time in getting on the board with two runs in the top of the first inning when senior left fielder Drew Tambling (Sterling, Mass.) doubled inside the first base bag and scored ahead of sophomore center fielder Mark McCormack’s (Shelton, Mass.) fifth home run of the season and second in as many games vs. Rhode Island College following a roundtripper on Sunday at Anchormen Field. His homer hit the top of the right field fence and landed on the other side for a 2-0 lead.
The Beacons added two more runs in the fifth with McCormack providing the offense once again with his second two-run blast of the contest over the right center field fence to score Tambling, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
McCormack was part of another two-run inning for UMass Boston in the sixth when he knocked in his career-high matching fifth run of the afternoon with a single to right field for a 6-0 lead. The Beacons began the inning with a single from senior designated hitter Jeff Outzen (San Mateo, Calif.), who scored on a double to right center off the bat of sophomore third baseman Mike Mattei (Sterling, Mass). Mattei then scored on McCormack’s base knock. UMass Boston capped the scoring in the frame when junior second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, Mass.) scalded a ball to third that came up off the chest of the Anchormen third baseman to score freshman shortstop Matt Consiglio (Southbury, Conn.) with the Beacons’ seventh run.
The Beacons added two more runs in the seventh for multiple runs in three straight innings. Outzen led off the inning with a single to left center and later stole second, advanced to third on an errant pick off throw and scored on a passed ball. Sophomore outfielder Ty Buccetti (Wallingford, Conn.) worked a walk and later came around to score on a double to the right field wall from Tambling for a 9-0 advantage.
UMass Boston kept the bats hot in the eighth, courtesy of junior catcher Tim Fontaine’s (Worcester, Mass.) school-record 10th homer of the season to eclipse the former mark shared by Adam Waxman (2000-03) and Pat Donovan (2004-05) and give the visitors a 10-0 margin.
Rhode Island College threatened in the first when sophomore shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, Mass.) led off with a single up the middle and senior center fielder Jared Rossi (Johnson, R.I.) drew a one-out bases on balls, but Dalton got out of the inning with a fly out and a strikeout.
The Anchormen looked to get something going in the ninth with junior first baseman Joseph Correia (Pascoag, R.I.) and Bracchi smacking back-to-back singles for the hosts’ first hits since the fourth inning. Dalton induced a double play as Correia advanced to third for Rhode Island College’s first runner to reach third base and Mattei made a diving backhand play at third and finished the play with a strong throw to first.
Dalton raised his record to 7-1 with a complete-game, five-hitter. The southpaw punched out at least one batter in the first six frames to finish the contest with eight strikeouts. His counterpart, junior Gary Levesque (East Providence, R.I.) surrendered seven runs on 10 hits, while striking out five for the Anchormen.
McCormack, Tambling, and Outzen each registered three hits for the visitors, while Matei collected a pair of base knocks. Rhode Island College was paced offensively by sophomore shortstop Kyle Allaire (Uxbridge, Mass.).