SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The UMass Lowell River Hawks baseball team (15-19, 7-8 AE) offense explodes for 29 runs in a blowout victory over the Bryant Bulldogs (14-19, 5-7 NEC) on Tuesday afternoon.
“Obviously, it was a great day to hit. Everybody up and down the lineup contributed,” said head coach Ken Harring. “Fritz [Genther] is hitting the ball well and putting himself in hitters counts. It was a tough day for pitchers with the wind and no one was comfortable until we got out of the seventh. But we just kept scoring and put the game away.”
Sophomore Fritz Genther (Kingston, N.Y.) went 5-6 on the afternoon with two home runs and seven RBIs to go with four stolen bases. Freshman Conor Kelly (Hopkinton, Mass.) tallied four hits in six at-bats with four RBIs. Junior Cedric Rose (Pittsfield, Mass.) scored four runs and recorded two hits, including his seventh home run of the season, and four RBIs. Eight of the River Hawks’ nine starters registered a hit in the victory.
On the mound, freshman Brendan Holland (North Andover, Mass.) made his fifth start of the season, throwing 2.0 innings. Sophomore Brendan Williams (Auburn, N.Y.) entered in the third inning and threw 5.0 innings, striking out six, earning the win, and improving to 2-1 on the year. Junior Brian Gaughan (Walpole, Mass.) threw one inning and struck out one while freshman Drew Haight (Duxbury, Mass.) closed the game in the ninth with one strikeout.
The River Hawks got going early in the game, building a 3-0 lead on three hits. Sophomore Roddy Hernandez (Jersey City, N.J.) hit a two-run single to give UMass Lowell a 5-0 lead. Genther stepped up to the plate for his second at-bat of the inning and hit a grand slam to stretch the lead to 9-0. The Bulldogs responded with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, making it a 9-5 game after one.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the second, Cedric Rose was hit by a pitch to bring in another run before Hernandez doubled to right to score two more, giving the River Hawks a 12-5 lead. Genther then singled to left to score two more runs. Hits from freshman Brandon Fish (Londonderry, N.H.) and junior Ryan Proto (Centerville, Mass.) brought in four more runs, putting UMass Lowell ahead 18-5. Conor Kelly brought two runs with a single down the left-field line, putting the River Hawks in front 20-5 through two.
Bryant scored three runs in the second, cutting the lead to 20-8. The River Hawks scored four runs in the third behind a solo home run from Genther and a three-run home run from Rose. Another solo shot in the bottom half of the inning made it a 24-9 game after three. The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth to cut the deficit to fourteen.
The scoring continued in the fifth with the River Hawks adding two runs in the top half of the inning to push the lead to 26-10. A three-run home run for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fifth cut the lead to thirteen. One run in sixth for UMass Lowell pushed the lead to 27-13. Genther continued his near-perfect day with a double in the eighth inning, his fifth hit of the afternoon.
UMass Lowell added two more in the eighth to stretch the lead to 29-13. The River Hawks ended the game with a stellar double play from Genther to Rose to solidify the win. After scoring six runs against the Bulldogs, Fritz Genther tied the school record of runs scored in a single game.
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