COLUMBIA, SC –-The UMass Lowell baseball team (0-3, 0-0 AE) fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0, 0-0 SEC) in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Graduate student Matt Draper (Lowell, Mass.) threw four scoreless innings in struck out four.
Draper went 4.2 innings before exiting the game for freshman Jacob Jette (Franklin, Mass.), who made his collegiate debut. Fellow freshman Nick DiRito (Plymouth, Mass.) also made his debut, throwing 2.0 innings and striking out one.
“[Matt] Draper was fantastic. He ran out of gas in the fifth but held a good lineup in check. Their Sunday start, [Jack] Mahoney was 95-97, we don’t see that,” said head coach Ken Harring. “That is the best team we’ve played at the Division I level and I’m proud of how the guys competed. We will address some things and get ready for Florida Gulf Coast next weekend.”
Sophomore Brandon Fish (Londonderry, N.H.) tallied two hits and one run in three at-bats to lead the offense. Graduate student Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J.), seniors Trey Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) and Ryan Proto (Centerville, Mass.), and sophomore Alex Luccini (Hopedale, Mass.) each registered a hit. Proto also tallied an RBI with a double in the ninth inning.
Sunday’s series finale started as a pitcher’s duel between Matt Draper and South Carolina’s
Jack Mahoney with each throwing four scoreless innings. Draper punched out two in the bottom of the second for his first strikeouts of the afternoon. The River Hawks’ offense got moving in the third as Trey Brown singled through the left side. Alex Luccini reached first on a great bunt down the third base line, but UMass Lowell could not bring in a run. Brandon Fish added a single in the fourth, but the game moved to the fifth in a scoreless tie.
Mahoney threw a 1-2-3 fifth inning, reaching eight strikeouts on the afternoon. The Gamecocks offense came alive in the bottom half of the inning. The hosts scored six runs with two outs behind a double and a three-run home run. Jacob Jette made his collegiate debut in relief of Draper with two on and two out. A two-run homer added the hosts lead, but the freshman was able to escape the inning.
Gerry Siracusa and Brandon Fish put together back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom of the sixth as Mahoney exited the game, but the River Hawks left two runners stranded. South Carolina added three in the bottom half of the inning, but junior Fritz Genther’s (Kingston, N.Y.) highlight reel play got the runner out at first and ended the frame. Freshman Nick DiRito made his collegiate debut in the seventh, picking up his first career strikeout to end the inning.
The River Hawks defense looked sharp in the eighth inning, turning 5-4-3 double play for the first two outs of the frame. Brandon Fish made a nice line drive grab to end the inning, but South Carolina tacked on another run. Ryan Proto’s RBI double scored Fish to get UMass Lowell on the board, but the River Hawks fell 12-1 in the series finale.
Up next for the River Hawks is a three-game series against Florida Gulf Coast weekend. First pitch of game one is set for 6:30 p.m. at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers.
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