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CENTRAL DEFEATS UMBC FOR NEC BASEBALL TITLE
UMBC could not overcome the odds of defending their NEC baseball title coming from the loser's bracket, as they fell, 11-2, vs. Central Connecticut in the championship round of the league tournament. After losing to the Blue Devils in the first game of the tournament, a 5-3, 10-inning setback, UMBC earned the right to play CCSU again, as they defeated St. Francis (NY) and Monmouth on Saturday. But the Blue Devils quickly jumped on UMBC starter Matt Farina, scoring two runs in the first inning, and four more in the third, eventually leading 8-0 before the Retrievers could get on the board. UMBC scored twice in the eighth inning, on an RBI single by Brad Glascock and an RBI double by Greg Deboy, but the Blue Devils shut the door and won their first NEC title. UMBC shortstop Jared Boyd banged out two more hits, and set a single season school record with 84 base knocks. UMBC received a pair of outstanding pitching efforts and defeated both St. Francis (NY), 1-0, and Monmouth, 8-2, to advance to the championship round. In the first elimination game, sophomore hurler Joe Wilson scattered 7 hits in a complete game shutout of the Terriers. He struck out 7, walked 4, and stranded 11 Terriers on the bases. UMBC scored the game's only run as Rick Guarno singled in Greg Deboy with two out in the sixth inning. Jared Boyd went 2-for-4, thus breaking UMBC's career hits record with 235. Against #1-seeded Monmouth, UMBC built a 6-0 lead through 3 1/2 innings. MU scored twice in their half of the fourth, but UMBC got the runs back on a two-run single by Brad Glascock in the sixth inning. Freshman pitcher Eric Butkiewicz went seven innings to earn the victory. Boyd recorded three more hits, including 2 doubles for 33 on the season, and a two-run homer. Chris Yetter went 4-of-4 at the plate and Guarno amassed 2 more safeties in the game. UMBC fell in their opener on Friday, a 5-3, 10-inning decision vs. Central Connecticut. CCSU's Kevin Rival doubled home the winning run with two outs in the tenth to lead the #3 seeded Blue Devils to a 5-3 victory over #2 seed UMBC.With the score tied at 3-3, CCSU’s Tim D’Aquila (Middletown, CT/Middletown) started the rally with a one-out single to centerfield off UMBC reliever Kyle Wildasin (Hanover, PA/Southwestern). After Phil Rothkugel (Plainville, CT/Plainville) grounded out, Rival laced his double to centerfield, scoring D’Aquila. Chip Rourke (Jewett City, CT/Griswold) then added an insurance run, smacking a single to left to score Rival. UMBC managed to get the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the frame, but Rival induced Rick Guarno (Rochester, NY/Bishop Kearney) to ground out to second base to end the game.UMBC (30-23) struck first when NEC Player of the Year Jared Boyd (Perth Amboy, NJ/Perth Amboy) tripled in Dan Carpenter (Glen Burnie, MD/Old Mill) and scored on a throwing error to stake the Retrievers to a 2-0 lead.CCSU (32-21) got a run back in the fourth when Rourke drove in Rival with a single to right field, but the score remained 2-1 in favor of UMBC, until the Retrievers scored again in the seventh on Carpenter’s run scoring single.Trailing 3-1 in the eighth, the Blue Devils pulled even on Rothkugel’s two run blast to dead centerfield.UMBC had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, staging a two-out rally to load the bases with third baseman Brad Glascock (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright), the NEC’s leading run producer, up at the plate, but Rival set him down with one of his five strikeouts on the afternoon.Rival (8-4), who replaced starter Jim Clarke (South Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth) with one out in the eighth inning, tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits.Wildasin (5-2), who came in for UMBC starter Zach Clark (Newark, DE/Newark) with one down in the eighth inning, was tagged with the loss after permitting two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings.The Retrievers finish the campaign at 32-24.