Gill and Gomez Throw Complete-Games as UMBC Sweeps Doubleheader from Hartford

Freshman Mike Gomez
Freshman Mike Gomez

BALTIMORE – Junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) and freshman Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) threw back-to-back complete games as the UMBC baseball team swept its doubleheader against America East rival Hartford, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.

The Retrievers (16-27, 8-18 AE) took game one over the Hawks (15-33, 11-15 AE) behind Gill's fourth consecutive complete-game and won game two, 7-4, as Gomez went the distance for the first time in his career.

UMBC has now won four straight games, having defeated UMES and Coppin State in mid-week action, for the team's longest win-streak of the season.

Gill (3-5) worked the full game for the fifth time this season and earned the win after striking out three and not walking a single Hawk.  He held Hartford to just one unearned run and scattered seven hits.

Hawk starter Kyle Gauthier (1-7) escaped damage in the first, but could not get out of the fourth inning and took the loss with the Retrievers scoring three runs on seven hits.

The Retriever starter did not give up a hit until the third when Trey Stover reached on a well-placed two-out bunt, but Gill struck out Brian Estevez to end the inning.

The UMBC lineup responded by taking the lead in the bottom half as junior Rob McCabe(Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) was hit-by-pitch with one away, stole second, and scored on an RBI-single up the middle off the bat of freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville). Lachance went 2-for-2 in the game while also walking once.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Hawks drew level in the fourth on a single to right by Brady Sheetz.

In the bottom part of the frame, UMBC took the lead with two runs for a 3-1 advantage.  SophomoreAnthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) got the inning started with a single through the right side and freshman Manny Colon (Williamtstown, N.J./Buena Regional) followed by pulling a double down the right field line to put runners on second and third with none out.  SophomoreVince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) then shot a single past a drawn-in infield to bring in Gatto and put UMBC ahead once again.  Freshman Jesse Smith (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) made it back-to-back by slapping a single through the right side to drive in Colon.

The Retrievers looked to get more in the inning as freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) moved the base-runners up with a sacrifice bunt, but two ground outs limited the damage.

That was all the support Gill would need, facing the minimum nine batters over the final three innings to close out the win.

Gomez (2-4) was equally effective in game two, shutting the Hawks out for the first seven innings and retiring eight straight batters at one point. 

The Retrievers were outhit 8-6 in the ball game, but took advantage of ten walks, eight from starter Brian Hunter (2-4), to earn the sweep.  Hunter surrendered five runs on just two hits, but was knocked out of the game as the Retrievers loaded the bases in the fourth.

UMBC had taken the lead an inning earlier when McCabe led off the third by poking a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) then chopped a ball to short, allowing McCabe to race home.

In the fourth, Colon and junior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) drew back-to-back one-out walks and advanced a base on a wild pitch following a strike out.  Two more walks, to Esposito and McCabe, pushed Colon in from third and forced Hunter out of the game.  Barnes then lashed a single to right-center off of reliever Anthony Mannuccia to drive in two, increasing the lead to 4-0. The Retrievers capped the scoring as an errant pick-off attempt to first allowed McCabe to take home.

Gomez took it from there, allowing just one batter to reach base in the next three innings.

Hartford pushed back in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs on RBI singles by Stover and Sheetz, to cut the lead to 5-2.  The Retrievers extended the lead back to five in the bottom half though with Corbi and McCabe providing the hits to bring runners across.

The Hawks were able to bring the game-tying run up the plate in the top of the ninth following two more runs, but Gomez induced pinch-hitter Pat Knauth to fly out to left to finish the game.

UMBC and Hartford will conclude their three-game series with a single contest at noon on Sunday. The Retrievers will hold a Senior Ceremony prior to the game to honor their two seniors, catcher Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) and outfielder Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC).

DAWG BITES

-          The two wins are the 800th and 801st in UMBC program history.

-          UMBC snapped a six-game losing streak to Hartford and extends its lead in the all-time series to 23-18 and 21-18 in America East play.

-          UMBC last won four straight during the 2009 season, defeating Georgetown on Apr. 21 and then taking the first three games in a series with Hartford on Apr. 25 and 26.

-          The Retrievers are 4-5 in conference series openers this spring.

-          The sweep improves UMBC's record to 10-11 at Alumni Field in 2013.

-          This is the Retrievers' first doubleheader sweep since taking two against the Hawks on Apr. 10, 2010 in Connecticut

-          Lachance went 0-for-3 in game two, breaking a seven-game hit streak.  He did walk twice in the game.

-          His two hits in game one gave him his team-best 14th multi-hit game of the year.

-          Coluccio went 1-for-3 in game one and 1-for-4 in game to extend his hit streak to eight games.

-          Barnes is currently on a career-best seven-game hit streak.

-          Jesse Smith drove in his first career RBI in game one.