Hartford Rallies Past UMBC to Take Series Finale, 4-2

Freshman Jesse Smith
Freshman Jesse Smith

BALTIMORE – Visiting Hartford scored all four of its runs in the seventh and eighth innings to overcome an early 1-0 deficit and defeat UMBC, 4-2, Sunday afternoon in the America East series finale at Alumni Field.

UMBC (16-28, 8-19 AE) had clinched the series win over the Hawks (16-33, 12-15 AE) by sweeping the doubleheader on Saturday.

Sean Newcomb (5-4) surrendered solo runs in the first and eighth innings to earn the win and Jeremy Charles tossed a hitless ninth inning to nail down his sixth save of the season.  Newcomb struck out seven Retriever batters without giving away a free pass. 

Junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) matched Newcomb through seven innings, giving up just one run on a Ryan Lukatch home run.  The right hander left after the inning and took a no-decision as the Hawks rallied against reliever Cam Maxey (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) who managed to get just one out while yielding three runs.

After Cohn sent Hartford down in order in the opening frame, the Retrievers started brightly against Newcomb with lead-off batter Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) punching a 1-2 pitch through the left side.  A ground out to the right side helped him gain second and then the junior came all the way around to score as a throw to peg freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) at first went astray.  Lachance then took third on another grounder, but he was stranded there as a strike out ended the inning.

Newcomb buckled down from there and retired ten straight Retriever batters before freshman Jesse Smith (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) singled with one away in the fifth.  Smith later beat out a grounder to short to collect his first career multi-hit game.

Making just his second start of the season, Cohn was equally as effective for the hosts, keeping Hartford off the board and holding them to just to four hits in the first six innings.  The Hawks were able to tie the game in the top of the seventh, however, as Lukatch went the other way with a pitch and sent it over the left field fence for his fifth round-tripper of the season.

UMBC could not answer in the bottom half and Hartford took advantage, using RBI singles by Brady Sheetz and Chris DelDebbio off of Maxey to build a 4-1 lead.

The Retrievers did respond in their next at-bats with Smith starting the inning with his infield single and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) to cut the lead to just two, 4-2.

They would not get any closer though, as Hartford's freshman closer gave away just a two-out walk to junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookedale CC) in the ninth.

UMBC closes out its 2013 home schedule on Tuesday against Georgetown, with first pitch at Alumni Field scheduled for 6:00 p.m.  The Retrievers then finish the regular season with a three-game America East series at Maine on Friday and Saturday.

DAWG BLOG

-          With the win, Hartford claims the season series 4-2 after sweeping the three-game set in Connecticut Apr. 6-7.

-          UMBC now leads the all-time series with Hartford 23-19 with a 21-19 advantage in America East contests.

-          Smith was the only Retrievers to pick up more than one hit with McCabe and Lachance earning the other two.

-          By striking out Aaron Wilson in the top of the third, Cohn extended the UMBC pitching staff's streak to 110 straight games with at least one K.