April 27, 2014

UMBC Can’t Hold Off UMass Lowell, Drops Series Finale 12-8

BALTIMORE – The UMBC baseball team jumped out to an early 6-0 lead behind a two-RBI double by junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) in the bottom of the second, but the Retrievers could not hold off UMass Lowell who rallied from behind to sweep the series with a 12-8 victory, Sunday afternoon in America East action at Alumni Field.

Corbi went 2-for-5 on the day, collecting his 101st and 102nd career hits, while driving in three runs, and scoring one as well for UMBC (13-21, 6-9 AE).  The Retrievers had won seven straight coming into the weekend, but dropped all three to the River Hawks.

Each of the first five batters for UMass Lowell (16-15, 8-6 AE) notched multi-hit games as the River Hawks won for the sixth consecutive time.  Center fielder Ian Strom connected for two doubles during a 3-for-5 day, driving in three and scoring twice, while third baseman Matthew Sanchez also went 3-for-5, driving in four and scoring one.

Garrett Cole (3-1) came out of the pen to shut down the Retrievers, blanking the hosts over 3.2 innings of work to earn the win.  He allowed just two base runners, a hit-by-pitch with two down in the sixth and a two-out walk in the eighth, while striking out two.

Junior Bobby Applegate (Somerdale, N.J./Sterling/Gloucester County College) took the loss (2-3) for the Retrievers after yielding four runs on five hits in a 1.2 inning appearance.

After UMBC starter Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) sent the River Hawks down in order in the top of the first, the Retrievers jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice against Christian Lavoie.  Sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) started the inning with an infield single and then freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) reached as his bunt was misplayed.  After a fly out and fielder's choice, which moved the runners up, sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) smacked a single back up the box to bring both runners around to score for the 2-0 lead.

Vanderplas again went 1-2-3 in the second and was rewarded again as UMBC plated four runs in the home half.  Sophomore Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) drew a one-out walk and then junior Ryan Sliwak (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh/Nassau CC) pulled a single through the right-side.  Two batters later, Casali cued a ball towards first and it was misplayed allowing Colon to score all the way from second for a 3-0 home advantage.

Corbi then stepped up and smashed a double to left-center, scoring Sliwak and Casali on the play.  Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) followed by yanking a single through the left side, chasing Corbi around and pushing the lead to 6-0.

Neither team scored in the third, but the River Hawks cut the lead in half, 6-3, with three runs in the top of the fourth.  Jimmy Ricoy got the visitors on the board with a sacrifice fly which scored Matt Mottola and then Jacob O'Keefe sent a single through the left side to score two runs.

The Retrievers answered in the bottom half, scoring two runs of their own as Casali tripled to deep center field to score Sliwak who had led off with a double and Corbi singled to bring in Casali and extend the lead back to five, 8-3.

UMass Lowell continued the rally in the top of the fifth scoring on a double by Danny Mendick to chase Vanderplas from the game and cut the lead to 8-4.  Sanchez welcomed Applegate with a double to center to bring around Strom and Mendick and pull within two at 8-6.

Senior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) drew a lead-off walk in the bottom half, but was stranded on third following two ground outs and a liner.

The visitors took the lead, 10-8, in the top of the sixth with four more runs, and never relinquished it.  The River Hawks then added two runs in the top of the seventh for a four-run lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, UMBC loaded the bases one two walks and an infield hit, all with no outs, but could not cut into the lead.

UMBC now wraps up its five-game home stand by hosting local rival Towson on Tuesday evening.  First pitch between the Retrievers and Tigers at Alumni Field is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          UMBC and UMass Lowell had never previously met on the baseball field.

-          Corbi is the second active Retrievers with 100+ career hits (McCabe: 131).

-          The Retrievers did not commit an error in the game, marking the sixth time this season they have player error-free baseball.