Little East Conference Championship Tournament - Day One
Top-Seeded Southern Maine Falls to Keene State 5-4
GORHAM, Maine -- Sophomore Connor Longley (Foxboro, Mass.) scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seven inning as the sixth-seeded Keene State College Owls upset the top-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies, 5-4, in the opening game of the 2017 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament being played at Ed Flaherty Field.
In the other two games Wednesday, second-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston defeated fifth-seeded Rhode Island College 4-3 in 12 innings, and third-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth downed fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University 9-2.
Thursday's schedule of games has USM facing Rhode Island College in Game Four of the tournament at 9:30 a.m. Keene State will take on Eastern Connecticut in the middle game starting approximately at 12:30 p.m. In the final game of the day, UMass Boston faces UMass Dartmouth at 3:30 p.m.
Longley led off the KSC seventh with a triple when the USM outfield slipped and fell attempting to catch his fly ball. After a strikeout, junior Christian Bourgea (Litchfield, N.H.) lifted a fly ball deep enough to left field to score Longley with the go ahead run that would stand up.
The Owls jumped on USM sophomore starter Dalton Rice (Waterford, Maine/Oxford Hills) for two runs in the top of the first stringing together three consecutive hits. Longley singled home junior Zach Rollins (Stafford Springs, Conn.) who had doubled with one out. Longley came all the way around when freshman Connor Walsh (Goffstown, N.H./Trinity) followed with a double to right-center.
USM picked up a single run in its half of the first on an infield error that allowed sophomore Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) to score from third.
Keene State went up 3-1 in the fourth when sophomore John Tarascio (Wethersfield, Conn.) led off the inning with a double, and scored on sophomore Nate Rossi's (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) one-out single.
The Huskies scored three times in the home half of the fourth to take their only lead (4-3). Senior Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) drove in the first run with a single and moved up to second when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. Rookie Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) drove in Bender and junior Sam Stauble (Harrison, Maine/Bridgton Academy), who reached on a fielder's choice, with a single.
Longley, who was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, tied the score in the fifth with a double that scored Rollins from first base.
KSC senior right-hander Mike Crimi (Bethel, Conn.) went eight innings to improve his record to 7-3. Crimi allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks while fanning four. Freshman Andrew Houde (Springfield, N.H.) retired the side in order in the ninth to record his second save of the season. Crimi and Houde combined to retire the last 11 USM batters in order.
Longley paced the Owls' 11-hit attack going 3 for 5 for two runs scored and two RBI. Rollins, Tarascio and Rossi also had tow hits apiece.
USM sophomore reliever Matt Correale (Peabody, Mass.) was the tough luck loser slipping to 4-3 on the season. Sophomores Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine) and Devin Warren (Smithfield, Maine/Messalonskee) each had two hits for the Huskies.
In the 12th inning, junior Chris Fowler (Barnstable, Mass.) slammed a single through a drawn-in infield to score sophomore Kyle Boudrias (Medford, Mass.) with the winning run. Boudrias drew a one-out walk off losing pitcher Mike Webb (Pawtucket, R.I.), moved to second on a balk, and then took third on a wild pitch. With the infield drawn in, Fowler slammed his winning single just past the second baseman to plate Boudrias.
The game went into extra innings when RIC rookie center fielder Josh Silva (Seekonk, Mass.) cut down the potential winning at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. Silva was also 4 for 5 at the plate for the Anchormen.
UMB sophomore pitcher Bobby Tramondozzi (Peabody, Mass.) picked up the win hurling 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Junior designated hitter Mac Curran (Lakeville, Mass./Coyle Cassidy) connected for a grand slam home run in the fifth inning to highlight UMass Dartmouth's victory over Eastern Connecticut. Curran also had an RBI single in the second inning.
UMD senior pitcher Sean Callahan (Colchester, Vt.) picked up his third win of the season going eight strong innings allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out seven.