WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Despite some windy conditions, the UMass Lowell baseball team came away with a 7-6 victory in the back half of its Saturday doubleheader against Hartford after falling to the Hawks, 8-2, to begin the day.
Junior Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.J.) slugged 1.333 percent on the day with two home runs and five RBI, while senior Vinnie Martin (Lodi, N.J.) chipped in three hits, batting .429. Cam Climo (Billerica, Mass.), Cedric Rose (Pittsfield, Mass.), and Jimmy Sullivan (East Hampton, Conn.) totaled two hits each on the day, as well.
Redshirt-senior John Polichetti (Atkinson, N.H.) and junior Matt Draper (Lowell, Mass.) split time on the mound in game one, with Policheti registering the loss. Sophomore Cam Seguin (Woburn, Mass.) went six innings with six strikeouts in game two, while senior Henry Funaro (Lowell, Mass.) closed on four fanned batters over the final two innings.
The River Hawks challenged offensively to start game one, producing hits on a one-out single to left by Martin and a shot to center from Climo. Responding in the home half, the Hawks would pick up a hit of their own in their first at-bat, but neither side would capitalize on their chances, coming out scoreless in the first.
Gallagher would be the driving force behind Lowell’s lone tallies in the second. Rose got things started with a four-pitch walk, followed by a double down the left-field line by freshman Roddy Hernandez (Jersey City, N.J.). In prime position, Gallagher stepped up, sending a triple to dead center for the 2-0 advantage.
The Hawks would collect after a defensive miscue put a runner in scoring position, followed by a ground out to third, to chip away 2-1 in the bottom of the second. Riding their momentum, Hartford would pick up on two more runs in the third, along with a three-run, three-hit fourth inning to pull away 6-2.
UMass Lowell would look to answer in the fifth, getting runners on first and second after Climo drew a walk and Sullivan hit a single to left, but the deficit would prove too much as Hartford would tack on two more in the sixth to grab the 8-2 opener.
Game two started in a similar fashion, with the River Hawks striking first. Rose connected on a three-bagger and Sullivan followed with an RBI double into left to make it 1-0 for the visiting team. Although, the Hawks would answer in the home half on an RBI double of their own for the 1-1 equalizer.
Breaking open the scoring in the second, Gallagher’s offensive production continued as he went long on a 2RBI homer to right to give his team a 3-1 edge. Seguin would respond well over the next two innings, striking out three and walking one. However, the Hawks would cut the lead in the fourth, where Hartford took the advantage on a two-run home run to tip the score 4-3.
Battling back, UMass Lowell made the score 4-4 in the top of the fifth, when Martin dropped a single into center field to score Gallagher who had stolen second after putting down a drag bunt.
Retiring the Hartford side in order in the home half of the fifth, the River Hawk infield was highlighted by a 4-6-3 and 6-4-3 double play to extinguish the Hawks’ chances over the next two innings.
UMass Lowell pulled away, 6-4, in the eighth, as Rose punched one into left to plate both Martin and Climo. The Hawks got the runs back in the top of the eighth, however, with a pair of RBI doubles.
The River Hawks would seal the deal in the ninth thanks to Gallagher’s second dinger of the day. In the team’s final attempt, Hartford made noise with a two-out infield hit, but the UMass Lowell defense was there with the stop in right to secure the 7-6 decision.
The two teams are right back at it tomorrow afternoon to close out the weekend series. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.
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