Gatto Homers but Baseball Falls 7-1 to Indiana

Sophomore Anthony Gatto
Sophomore Anthony Gatto

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – UMBC sophomore first baseman Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) hit his first, and the team's first, homerun of the season, but it was not enough as the Retrievers fell to Indiana, 7-1, Sunday morning on the final day of the Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach at TicketReturn.com Field.

Gatto finished the opening weekend with a .333 batting mark (3-for-9) to go along with three walks.  Senior Tom Gilchirst (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) paced UMBC (0-3) over the course of the weekend, hitting at a .375 (3-for-8) clip.

Freshman Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) took the loss (0-1) against the Hoosiers in his first career start for the Retrievers.  The rookie right-hander gave up four earned runs over four innings of work, striking out one batter, but walking four.

The Retrievers banged out a season-high eight hits on the day, but Indiana (6-2) turned three double plays to help Aaron Slegers (1-0) earn the win.  The sophomore righty went six innings for Indiana, scattering six hits and striking out six Retrievers.

Indiana, coming off of a 9-1 victory over tournament host Coastal Carolina, stayed hot Sunday morning, getting to Stephenson early for two runs in the first.  The Retriever rookie settled down, however, blanking the Hoosiers each of the next two frames to provide an opening for his teammates.

UMBC went down in order in each of the first two innings, but junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) led off the third with an infield single to provide a spark. He was stranded there though following a hard line-out to left, a strikeout, and a ground out.

The Hoosiers made the most of escape, adding three runs in the top of the fourth to push the lead to 5-0.  Justin Cureton recorded the pivotal hit of the inning, a two-RBI single to center.  After moving to second on the play, Cureton scored after two wild pitches.

In the bottom half, Gilchrist led off with a single to the opposite field and Gatto followed two batters later with a shot up the middle.  With runners on first and second, the Retrievers' rally came to an end on one of the three double-play balls.

After freshman reliever Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) held IU scoreless in the top of the fifth, UMBC once again gained two base runners as sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) and Coluccio notched back-to-back one-out base knocks.  The double-play ball once again thwarted the rally as the Retrievers threatened.

Neither team could make a dent over the next three innings, but Indiana pushed its lead to 7-0 with two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Gatto kept the Retrievers from being shutout for the second straight day, though, driving the first pitch he saw from Christian Morris over the left-center field wall and into the seats. 

UMBC now returns to the Mid-Atlantic region to take on local rivals Delaware and Towson in mid-week games.  The Retrievers travel to Newark, Del. on Tuesday to face the Blue Hens before heading around the beltway to challenge the Tigers on Wednesday.

DAWG BITES

-          Indiana now holds a 4-0 record all-time against UMBC.

-          The Retrievers are now 0-7 all-time against schools from the Big 10 (0-1 vs. Illinois; 0-4 vs. Indiana; 0-1 vs. Northwestern; 0-1 vs. Ohio State).

-          Gatto's homerun is the first for the Retrievers this season.  Last year, UMBC hit 25 round-trippers.

-          Gomez, Stephenson and Gabe Togna (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) all made their career debuts for the Retrievers against the Hoosiers.

-          Coluccio started behind the plate for the first time for UMBC.

-          Junior Stephen Chrzanowski (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora/Hagerstown CC) threw a perfect eighth inning for UMBC.  He also threw a perfect inning Saturday vs. West Virginia.