NEW ORLEANS, LA – After trailing 5-1, the UMass Lowell baseball team (0-3, 0-0 AE) scored four runs over two innings to tie, but ultimately the River Hawks fell 6-5 to the Tulane Green Wave (3-0, 0-0 AAC) on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.Y.) led the way with his first two home runs of the season and had three RBI’s. Fellow senior Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J.) also hit his first homer of the season while graduate student Ryan Towle (Westfield, Mass.) pitched 4.2 innings, tallying six strikeouts and just one earned run. As a unit, the River Hawks recorded 10 hits on Sunday, matching their team total from Friday and Saturday combined.
“We competed today after some mistakes early. The team dealt with the early adversity and gave us a chance to win,” said head coach Ken Harring. “Tulane is a very good team that does it all and plays the game the right way. We’ll be a better team down the road because of this series.”
Gallagher opened the game with a leadoff solo shot to right field that put UMass Lowell up 1-0. Senior Sal Fusco (Colonie, N.Y.) started the game on the mound for the River Hawks and escaped a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the first after Gallagher caught a line drive to end the inning.
The Green Wave would tie things up with a solo home run in the bottom of the second before scoring three more to take a 4-1 lead. Towle entered the game to replace Fusco and closed out the inning. Junior Trey Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) picked up another hit but was left stranded. Tulane added a fifth run after the third. Towle pitched well for the River Hawks, leaving the door open for a comeback. Freshman Brandon Fish (Londonderry, N.H.) came in to score in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2. Another scoreless inning from Towle, including another strikeout, gave the River Hawks the momentum they needed.
With freshman Jacob Humphrey (Standish, Maine) on first, Gallagher stepped up to bat and sent a rocket to left field. The two-run shot made it a one-score game. Two batters later, Siracusa sent one over the fence in center field to make it a 5-5 game. Towle picked up two more strikeouts in the sixth inning to send the game into the seventh still tied.
Strong defensive work in the seventh from both teams kept the game even. Junior Ryan Proto (Centerville, Mass.) made two sliding grabs on two bunt attempts to help get the River Hawks out of a jam and move into the eighth inning knotted up at five. Tulane snuck in a run to take a 6-5 lead into the final frame. Brown’s base hit to right and Fish’s infield single put two runners on, but the River Hawks could not find a way to tie things up. The Green Wave held on to win 6-5 and sweep the weekend series.
“Moving forward, we need to take care of the baseball and eliminate the free passes,” said Harring. “We’re looking forward to our next test in Greensboro next weekend.”
UMass Lowell returns to action next weekend to take on North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina for a three-game series. Game one is scheduled for Friday, February 25 at 4 p.m.
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