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Beacons Advance To NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Round

Beacons Advance To NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Round

MANSFIELD, Conn. –The University of Massachusetts Boston locked up a trip to Appleton, Wisc. for the NCAA Division III World Series, which starts Friday, May 28, by defeating top-seeded Tufts University for a second time in the New England Regional hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University, 12-6, here today. The seventh-seeded Beacons, who made the regional tournament field by winning the Little East tournament, will make their first excursion to the World Series in their first-ever appearance in the NCAAs.

UMB will face the winner of the West Regional, either Linfield College or Mississippi College, in the first round on Friday. In the first meeting between UMB and Tufts, then a battle of 2-0 squads Friday, UMB prevailed, 3-2. UMB finished the regional 4-0 while Tufts went 3-2.

UMB batted around in the bottom of the 5th to erase a 6-3 deficit and grab an 8-6 lead it would not relinquish. Senior left fielder Drew Tambling (Sterling, Mass.) led off the frame by became the 42nd player in the regional to be hit by a pitch. Before sophomore center fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, Conn.) walked, Tambling stole second and reached third on an errant pickoff attempt. Junior second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, Mass.) knocked in the fourth UMB run with a single to right-center, scoring Tambling. A double steal and wide throw at third allowed McCormack to score, making it 6-5. Junior catcher Tim Fontaine (Worcester, Mass.) then unloaded his school-record 11th home run of the year, a towering shot over the left-field wall to put the Beacons ahead, 7-6. It upped his RBI total in the regional to a tournament-best nine. First baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, N.H.) kept the inning going by singling down the left-field line, going to second on a walk to senior pinch-hitter Jeff Outzen (San Mateo, Calif,), reaching third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Mike Mattei’s (Spencer, Mass.), and tagging up to score on junior right fielder Jose Roman Santos’ (Tenares, Dominican Republic) fly ball into center, making a two-run margin.

The Beacons picked up a valuable insurance run in the 7th when Santos laced a hit into right-center field to drive in Reinfurt, who was the 43rd hit-by-pitch victim over the 14 games of the regional. He had moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. All four players who were hit by pitches in this game eventually scored, two for each team.

With three additional runs in the bottom of the 8th, UMB put the game out of reach to extend its win streak to nine games heading into Nationals. Outzen delivered a two-run double into right-center field, scoring Fontaine (single) and Reinfurt (single). Outzen came across the plate on Mattei’s single to right for the 12 -6 final.

UMB reliever freshman Tom Cole (Mattapoisett, Mass.) got the win on the mound with four virtually spotless shutout innings of work. He did not give up a hit and walked three with three strikeouts while improving to 3-2. Throwing the final two innings, freshman Daniel Heefner (Tracy, Calif.) posted his third save of the year. Tufts starter lefty Kevin Gilchrist (Medford, Mass.) took the loss, his first of the year against six wins.

UMB trailed by as many as four runs early in the contest as Tufts, like it did in the first contest between the squads Friday, got on the board in the top of the 1st, scoring four times on only two hits. Having control trouble at the outset, UMB lefty starter senior Andrew LeBrun (Stoneham, Mass.) walked the first two Tufts players he faced, junior shortstop David LeResche (St. Louis, Mo.) and junior left fielder Ben Walkley (Trumbull, Conn.). He then loaded the bases by hitting sophomore third baseman Sam Sager (Cranston, R.I.) with a pitch. All three players came in to score as junior right fielder Chase Rose (Scottsdale, Ariz.) lofted a sacrifice fly into right field for an RBI. Senior first baseman Nate Bankoff (Lynnfield, Mass.), who had knocked in four runs during Tufts’ 6-5, 11-inning victory over St. Joseph’s College (Me.) to reach the championship earlier in the day, picked up where he left off by sending an RBI single into center field. Sophomore designated hitter Matt Collins (Hopkinton, Mass.) reloaded the bases with a single to left. Junior center fielder David Orlowitz (Wakefield, Mass.) followed with a sharp grounder toward third base. UMB failed to make the play, allowing two runs to score, one of which was earned and good for an RBI. LeBrun then worked his way through the two-on, one-out situation without yielding another run.

The Beacons cut the differential in half in the bottom of the 1st as three straight singles with one out and a sacrifice fly off Gilchrist resulted in two runs. McCormack got things started by rolling a hit up the middle and Walsh reached on a swinging bunt. Fontaine smacked a bad-hop single past shortstop, good enough to bring in McCormack from second base. Reinfurt sent a ball deep into left field to give Walsh opportunity to tag and score the second Beacon run.

The Jumbos tacked on a fifth run in the 2nd behind another walk to Walkley, a single by Rose and a single to left by Bankoff, raising his daily RBI total to six.

Tufts raised another big threat in the 4th but settled for just one run for a 6-2 edge as Cole got an inning-ending double-play on the fourth batter he faced. Tufts had the bases loaded at the time. Earlier in the frame, Rose drove in Sager with a ground double into the left-field corner to end the night for LeBrun. Sager had been hit by a second pitch, making him a leadoff base runner.

The Beacons got the run back in the 4th by ending Gilchrist’s streak of nine straight batters retired when Reinfurt walked with one out, took second on Mattei’s single up the middle with two outs, and scored on a hard-hit single just inside the third-base bag by Santos, reducing the gap to 6-3.

Named the regional’s Most Outstanding Player, Fontaine had three hits and three RBI in the championship game, giving him eight hits in 16 at-bats (.500) with nine RBI in four games. Making the regional all-tournament team from UMB was sophomore pitcher James Dalton (Apopka, Fla.), senior pitcher Michael Andriano (Massapequa, N.Y.) and Reinfurt. From Tufts, Bankoff was joined by junior pitchers Ed Bernstein (Foxboro, Mass.) and Derek Miller (Whitman, Mass.) with spots on the all-tournament squad.

2010 NCAA Division III Baseball New England All-Regional Team
Name Position Institutition
Jim Schult Utility Eastern Connecticut State University
Michael Andriano Pitcher University of Massachusetts Boston
James Dalton Pitcher University of Massachusetts Boston
Tim Fontaine Catcher University of Massachusetts Boston
Connor Reinfurt First Base University of Massachusetts Boston
Ben Grant-Roy First Base St. Joseph's College (Maine)
Todd Keneborus Outfield St. Joseph's College (Maine)
Nate Bankoff Outfield Tufts University
Ed Bernstein Relief Pitcher Tufts University
Derek Miller Pitcher Tufts University
Tad Skelley Second Base Wheaton College (Mass.)
Most Outstanding Player
Tim Fontaine Catcher University of Massachusetts Boston