ANDOVER, Mass. – Sophomore Jacob Humphrey’s (Standish, Maine) three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning propelled the UMass Lowell River Hawks baseball team (9-20, 3-6 AE) to a 7-6 win over the Merrimack Warriors (8-19, 5-7 NEC) on Tuesday afternoon.
“Big time comeback. Miles Cota gave us a phenomenal start,” said head coach Ken Harring. “Jacob Jette was awesome in the ninth and [Jacob] Humphrey continues to come through in big situations. Winning a game when you’re losing by three in the ninth will give this team added confidence.”
Senior Miles Cota (Hampstead, N.C.) went 6.2 innings and struck out five in another strong showing from the veteran. Freshman Michael Simes (Rutland, Mass.) earned the win to improve to 1-1 on the season. Fellow freshman Jacob Jette (Franklin, Mass.) earned his first career save, throwing 1.0 inning and striking out two to secure the win.
Jacob Humphrey had three RBIs on two hits with three runs to lead the team. Graduate student Gerry Siracusa (Kinnelon, N.J.) also tallied two hits and three RBIs in five plate appearances. Graduate student Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.J.) drew two walks and scored one run to go with two hits on the afternoon.
The River Hawks took an early 1-0 lead in the first as Gerry Siracusa’s RBI single brought in Jacob Humphrey for the game’s first run. Siracusa singled up the middle to score two more runs in the top of the third, extending the lead to 3-0.
UMass Lowell’s offense struggled to string hits together over the next three frames, giving the Warriors an opportunity to even the score. Merrimack got on the board in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to two with an RBI single. The hosts took a 4-3 lead in the seventh with three runs on three hits. A two-out double in the bottom of the eighth extending the lead to 6-3, as UMass Lowell came to plate for the ninth.
Senior Trey Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) led off the top of the ninth with a single to center field before senior Matt Tobin (Poland, N.Y.) reached on a throwing error. With junior Roddy Hernandez (Jersey City, N.J.) pinch running for Brown at second and sophomore Conor Kelly (Hopkinton, Mass.) pinch running for Tobin at first, Frank Wayman drew a walk to load the bases.
Senior Ryan Proto’s (Centerville, Mass.) fly out scored Hernandez to make it a 6-4 game with Jacob Humphrey at the plate. The sophomore hit his fourth homerun of the season, a three-run home run, to put the River Hawks in front 7-6. UMass Lowell left one stranded at third as Jacob Jette entered the game for the bottom of the ninth.
The rookie was fantastic under pressure, striking out two hitters in the ninth to secure UMass Lowell’s fifth consecutive win. The River Hawks return to action for a weekend conference series at UAlbany. Game one is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 14 at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
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