Baseball swept by regionally-ranked UMass Lowell, falls by three total runs

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College baseball team twice narrowly fell to regionally-ranked University of Massachusetts at Lowell on Saturday, 9-7 and 7-6, during Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division play at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple Knights slipped to 10-21 overall and 3-10 in the division, with 13 losses coming by two runs or fewer, including 10 by one. The River Hawks, who stand ninth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) East Region poll, are 23-15 and 5-6.

Game one saw the hosts grab a 4-0 lead in the second inning, as junior Nick Nelson (Spofford, N.H./Keene) and first-year Matt Feeney (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) each had two hits, a run, an RBI and a double. Junior Jason Moore (Avon, Conn./Northwest Catholic) was 2-for-4, and classmate David Valley (Essex, Vt./Essex/Keene State) and sophomore Don McGuirl (Warwick, R.I./Saint Sebastian's School) both drove in two. Senior Andrew Kelley (Lincoln, N.H./Lin-Wood) took the loss, yielding four earned runs in 5.1 innings.

First-year Joe Consolmagno (Worcester, Mass./Saint Peter-Marian) was 2-for-4 with three runs for UMass Lowell, and redshirt senior Pat Devlin (Tewksbury, Mass./Tewksbury) and sophomore Jimmy Ricoy (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) both had two hits and two RBIs. Senior Taylor Robinson (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) earned the win despite allowing six earned runs over seven, as he struck out seven. Classmate Tyler Toyfair (Agawam, Mass./Agawam) earned the save.

Valley's two-run double snapped a scoreless tie in the second inning before Feeney and McGuirl added RBIs, and the hosts led 4-0. Three runs, two being unearned, scored for the visitors the next inning, but Nelson's RBI double in the home half made it 5-3. However, three straight run-scoring hits with two out in the fifth put the River Hawks on top for good. Devlin's two-out, two-run single extended the lead to 9-6 in the ninth before McGuirl provided an RBI groundout in the bottom half, but Toyfair fanned the final batter, who represented the tying run.

Nelson's grand slam helped the Purple Knights grab a 6-0 lead in game two, and McGuirl went 2-for-4. Junior Alec Tice (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) had a hit, a run, an RBI and a walk. Pitching in his second contest of the day, sophomore Barry Maily (Moosup, Conn./Plainfield) took the loss in relief, yielding two runs in 0.2 innings, before junior Corey Livingston (Manchester, Conn./East Catholic) tossed 2.2 shutout frames.

Ricoy was 4-for-5 with three runs, two RBIs and a home run for UMass Lowell, and Devlin was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a double. sophomore Shane Beauchemin (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Memorial) improved to 7-0 while yielding five hits and one earned run in eight innings, and Toyfair notched a second save.

Feeney and Tice provided RBIs to begin the third inning before Nelson knocked his grand slam to left field with two down. Five of the runs were unearned. The River Hawks immediately chipped away, with Devlin knocking an RBI double in the fourth before four runs scoring in the sixth, three with two out. Ricoy swatted a go-ahead two-run home run to left center the following inning. Down 7-6, the Purple Knights left the bases loaded in the eighth inning, and McGuirl and Tice both walked with one down in the ninth before Toyfair struck out the last two batters.

The teams complete a three-game weekend series tomorrow at 1 p.m. with a Senior Day contest.