ALBANY, N.Y. – The UMass Lowell baseball team (25-27, 15-14 AE) won yet another conference series with a 3-2 win over the UAlbany Great Danes (21-25, 10-19 AE) on Friday afternoon. The River Hawks will look to complete the series sweep on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a pitcher’s day with the wind howling in. But a real good win today,” said head coach Ken Harring. “We made the most of our two hits and took advantage of a couple of freebies that they gave us in the eighth. Josh [Becker] was fantastic. We will be ready to go again tomorrow.”
On the mound, senior Joshua Becker (Burlington, Mass.) got the start and the win, improving to 6-4 on the year. The senior threw 7.0 innings and struck out four while allowing just one earned run. Fellow senior Matt Draper (Lowell, Mass.) threw 2.0 innings and allowed one earned run and three hits.
Senior Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J.) and freshman Brandon Fish (Londonderry, N.H.) tallied a hit in the win. Fish added in one RBI while Siracusa scored one run. Senior Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.J.) tallied an RBI in four at-bats. Freshmen Alex Luccini (Hopedale, Mass.) and Conor Kelly (Hopkinton, Mass.) both walked and scored one run on the afternoon.
The River Hawks went down in order in the first inning before the Great Danes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame. An RBI single from Brad Malm gave the hosts an early advantage. Joshua Becker picked up two strikeouts in the second inning to keep the deficit to one run. The senior picked up another strikeout in the third to keep it a 1-0 game through three.
In the top of the fourth, Gerry Siracusa hit a single up the middle with two outs to give UMass Lowell life. Brandon Fish then doubled down the left-field line scoring Siracusa all the way from first to tie the game at one apiece. Becker threw another scoreless earning with his fourth strikeout of the day, keeping the game tied going to the fifth. Neither side took the lead in the sixth and the game moved to the seventh still tied.
Conor Kelly was walked in the eighth before advancing to second on a passed ball. Alex Luccini was hit by a pitch and freshman Jacob Humphrey (Standish, ME.) reached first on an error to load the bases. A wild pitch scored one and moved runners to second and third, giving UMass Lowell a 2-1 lead. Robert Gallagher then grounded out to first, but Luccini came in to score and put the River Hawks ahead by two. Matt Draper came in relief of Becker in the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order.
UMass Lowell could not add to the lead in the ninth and the Great Danes returned to the plate down by two. UAlbany found life after back-to-back singles put runners on first and second with no outs. Another single up the middle scored one, making it a 3-2 game before a sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third with one out. Draper forced a line out and a fly out to end the game and secure the series win for the River Hawks.
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