After playing twenty-one straight games on the road against the likes of Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Penn State, the UMass Lowell River Hawks (5-17) finally got the chance to play one at home. They began the home portion of their schedule with a mid-week game vs Marist (9-13). They were backed by solid pitching which included no walks from anyone who took the mound. They were also helped by an offense that banged out eleven hits, five of which were extra-base hits. The River Hawks took care of business with a 10-4 victory.
Both teams used this game as a “staff day” as fifteen pitchers were used by both sides. The eight used by the River Hawks proved to be the more efficient. They would allow nine hits, striking out nine batters, to go along with the no walks. Of the four runs they issued in the ball game, only two were earned. The River Hawks did commit three errors, two by shortstop Oscar Marchena. After the game, head coach, Ken Harring, called it “a good team win”. He stated his offense “gave good quality at-bats up and down the order”. There was also the thrill of his pitchers giving up no walks in a nine-inning game.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the third, UMass Lowell would bat around and score five runs vs Marist’s staff. Key hits in the frame were from Andrew Roden, an RBI single, Steve Passatempo with an RBI base hit (two-hit day for him), Ted Leathersich’s run-scoring base hit (two hits as well) and a Marchena two-run double ( two hits for him) to the gap in right-center field. When the inning was finished, UMass Lowell had a six to two lead. Of note, the four, five, and six hitters in the River Hawks lineup went a combined six-for-fourteen.
Marist did plate single runs in both the sixth and ninth innings. Both of the runs would be unearned. A Marchena throwing error led to the run in the sixth inning. In the ninth, with reliever Joshua Becker on the hill, a passed ball sandwiched around two hits, plated the fourth Marist run. The River Hawks scored a single run in the fifth on an RBI ground out by Joey Castellanos. In the seventh, there was a booming home run off the bat of Ciaran Devenney to left center field that easily cleared the wall. For Devenney, it was his first as a member of the River Hawks. They would add two more in the eighth on an RBI double by Leathersich and a sac fly from Marchena who had three runs batted in on the afternoon.
The win goes to Blake Sciafani (1-0) as he pitched perfect second inning allowing no hits and striking out one. The loss goes to Trevor Backman (0-1) and he gave up four hits and three earned runs in his one plus inning of work. Backman started the third and never recorded an out before being lifted.
The River Hawks return to conference action when they host Hartford over the upcoming weekend.