UNION, N.J. – The UMass Lowell River Hawks baseball team (8-16, 3-6 AE) split the doubleheader against the NJIT Highlanders (12-11, 7-2 AE) on Saturday afternoon at Jim Hynes Stadium.
Freshman Jacob Humphrey (Standish, ME.), senior Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.J.), and sophomore Fritz Genther (Kingston, N.Y.) each tallied two hits to lead the River Hawks in a rout of NJIT. Genther hit two home runs in game one, his first two of the campaign, and led the team with three RBIs. Five other River Hawks tallied a hit in the win.
On the mound, senior Joshua Becker (Burlington, Mass.) picked up his third win of the season, throwing 7.0 innings, striking out nine hitters. The senior allowed four hits, one walk, and one earned run.
“Obviously it was a great first game. [Josh] Becker was in total command of the game from start to finish,” said head coach Ken Harring. “We really swung the bats well. Game two we got out to an early and [Ryan] Towle was cruising. One bad pitch changed the momentum. Two mistakes in the forerunner inning cost us. But we’re playing better as a team, and we competed like crazy all weekend. The series will make us better.”
The River Hawks got going early in game one of the doubleheader. Humphrey and Gallagher both reached to start the game before junior Ryan Proto (Centerville, Mass.) singled to right to put UMass Lowell ahead 1-0. A sacrifice fly and balk scored two more runs before junior Matt Tobin (Poland, N.Y.) singled to left, bringing in two more for a 5-0 lead.
Senior Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J.) doubled to center in the second inning to score Gallagher, making it a 6-0 game. Siracusa would score on another sacrifice fly to give the visitors a 7-0 lead after just two innings. Becker pitched lights out for the River Hawks, keeping the Highlanders off the board.
In the fourth inning, Genther hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to put UMass Lowell ahead 9-0. The Highlanders got one back in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-1, but that would be all the hosts would get in game one. Genther hit a solo shot, his second home run of the game, in the seventh for a 10-1 lead. Humphrey and Gallagher picked up an RBI each in the seventh to stretch the lead to 12-1. Becker closed the game with two strikeouts to secure the win.
The River Hawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in game two behind an RBI from Siracusa and run from freshman Brandon Fish (Londonderry, N.H.). The Highlanders answered with a three-run home run in the third to take a 3-2 lead. The hosts then scored four runs in the fifth inning to go ahead 7-2.
UMass Lowell got back in the game after a solo home run from Gallagher, cutting the lead 7-3. Fish then singled to center scoring Siracusa and bringing the River Hawks within three runs. Cedric Rose hit a solo shot to left field to make it 7-5, but the comeback fell short, and the Highlanders took game two 7-5.
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