GORHAM, Maine - Second-seeded UMass Boston won the 2019 Little East Conference (LEC) baseball championship with an 8-2 victory over fifth-seeded UMass Dartmouth Sunday at University of Southern Maine's Ed Flaherty Field, and with it secured the Little East's automatic berth in the 2019 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
No. 2 UMass Boston (30-11) 8, No. 3 UMass Dartmouth (19-21) 2
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons became the first team to ever three-peat in the LEC Tournament behind a weekend-high, 11-hit attack.
Danny Brown, the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament, had the key hit for the Beacons. With UMass Boston holding on to a 3-2 lead heading to the seventh, Brown clubbed a two-run double to give the Beacons the momentum for good. The junior finished with the Beacons two biggest hits of the tournament, as he also had the walk-off hit against the Corsairs in UMass Boston's first game of the tournament.
Senior Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) paced the attack, as he finished 4-5 with two runs scored and two RBI. The designated hitter recorded the first two-triple game of his career and reached 250 career hits with his second triple of the day.
Senior Eddie Riley (Quincy, Mass.) added two doubles, two RBI and a run scored, while freshman catcher Nico Kydes (Stamford, Conn.) tacked on two hits, a double and an RBI.
On the mound, four Beacons pitchers held the Corsairs to seven hits, no walks and two unearned runs.
Sophomore Tylor Arruda (New Bedford, Mass.) earned the win in his second-consecutive LEC Championship Game start. The right-hander allowed just four hits and two unearned runs, while striking out five over five innings.
Joey Rogers (Dighton, Mass.), Ben Gottesman (Acton, Mass.) and Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) combined to shut down the Corsairs over the final four innings. The trio allowed just three hits and struck out one, to help the Beacons bullpen close out the LEC Tournament allowing just one earned run in 14 innings.
Nate Tellier led the Corsairs offense with three of the team's seven hits. Ryan Britton took the loss, after giving up five hits and three earned runs over 4.1 innings.
After the Beacons had chances to score in the first and second, UMass Boston finally got on the board in the third. Josh Lopez (New Haven, Conn.) led off the inning with a single and raced home when Boudrias tripled in front of the diving Corsairs right fielder. After a hit by pitch put runners on the corners, Riley brought Boudrias in with a sacrifice fly.
The Beacons extended their lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Anthony Cecere (Wakefield, Mass.) was hit by a pitch and moved to third on Riley's double into the left-center field gap. Brown pushed the lead to three with a sacrifice fly.
UMass Dartmouth got back into the game with two in the bottom of the inning. After a Beacons error put two on with no outs, Tucker Heatherman and Chris Wood each recorded sacrifice flys to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Corsairs tried to tie the game in the sixth, but a leadoff baserunner was erased on a double play started by Riley.
After waiting the whole tournament to collectively get going, UMass Boston's bats woke up in their next two at-bats.
Boudrias opened the seventh with a single and Riley followed with an intentional walk to put two on with one out. Brown made the Corsairs pay, as he roped a double to left center to score both runners. Kydes laced a single to left with two down to score Brown to make it 6-2.
UMass Boston extended their lead to 8-2 in the eighth, as they tacked on two more runs. Lopez walked with one out and took third on an errant pickoff thrown. He was able to walk home in the next at-bat, as Boudrias tripled to the wall in right for another RBI. With two outs and Ryan Leung (Brookline, Mass.) pinch running, Riley doubled off the wall to push the lead to six.
UMass Dartmouth had a baserunner in the bottom of the eighth, but Riley started another double play to end the rally.
Tramondozzi came on for the ninth and worked around a one-out single to end the game and set off the celebration.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston is the first team to three-peat in the history of the Little East Conference Tournament. The Beacons are the first team to ever win back-to-back titles without losing a game.
- The Beacons have now won 11 consecutive LEC Tournament games, which is a new LEC Tournament record. With the win today, UMass Boston is .500 all-time in the LEC Tournament (25-25).
- Boudrias is the second player in program history to reach 250 career hits. He sits just 16 hits shy of Ryan Walsh's ('10) program record for career hits (266). He came into Sunday's contest with no doubles on the season and three career doubles in 692 career at-bats.
- The Beacons pitching staff allowed just four earned runs for the tournament (1.00 team ERA). As a staff, they struck out 38 batters, walked just eight and scattered 29 hits in 36 innings.
- Nick Herzog (Riverhead, N.Y.) set the program record for games played in Sunday's LEC Title Game. He passed former teammate Sal Frosceno ('18) for the program record with his 179th career game played.
- With the win, UMass Boston has now reached 30 wins in each of the past four seasons and for the fifth time in program history. All five teams the Beacons have reached 30 wins, they have also gone to the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.
- Head coach Brendan Eygabroat is now sitting on 348 wins (348-279) for his career.
- The Beacons have won more titles in the "teens" (2010-2019) than any other LEC team (four). Overall, UMass Boston only trails Eastern Connecticut State University (nine) and the University of Southern Maine (five) for all-time LEC Tournament Titles.
UMass Boston earns the LEC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Beacons will find out whether or not they will host and who they will be playing at Noon on Monday, when the NCAA airs the first-ever NCAA Division III Baseball Selection Show at Noon on NCAA.com.