UMass Lowell (17-29) head baseball coach Ken Harring did not mince any words when talking about his team’s performance after Friday night’s loss to Hofstra University (24-24) 10-4 at LeLacheur Park. He said his team “Came out a little flat, sleepwalking a little bit.” Not the kind of words you wanted to hear or read about a baseball team’s effort. After all, it’s May 12 and the regular season has only six games left in it before postseason ball begins. Being on top of your game is what you are striving for at this stage. On Friday night, the River Hawks were anything but that.
There were physical errors, three to be exact, and baserunning mistakes that have plagued this team during the season. Hofstra had the leadoff hitter on in eight of the nine innings they batted. They have a freshman leadoff hitter named Dylan Palmer that had quite the night, going 4-for-5, two runs scored, and an RBI. Four-hole hitter Shane Harrington who was 3-for-5 had four RBI, and a run scored was also a problem. The ten runs were scored on thirteen hits. In the field, the Pride were on their toes turning three double plays to keep the River Hawks from mounting any sort of comeback. While it can be said that the visitors from Long Island, NY received some help from the River Hawks, they earned most of it as well.
Matt Draper (3-7) got the start for Lowell. He threw 66 total pitches which his coach said “was enough.” He was in trouble in every inning he worked. Some of it was his fault, a lot of it fell on his teammates behind him on the field. In the first, an infield single by Palmer started the game. One out later he scored on a throwing error by River Hawks SS Fritz Genther on a ground ball hit by Kevin Bruggeman, 1-0 Pride. Lowell got that run back in the bottom of the first. Facing Brad Camarda (6-2) who last Friday threw a no-hitter vs Monmouth, Jacob Humphrey led off the game, and on the second pitch he saw, he launched his seventh HR of the season over the wall in left. It tied the game at 1-1. Later in the inning, Robert Gallagher reached base on a fielding error and then stole his 100th career base as a UMass Lowell River Hawks player. The Pride took the lead back in the second. A single by Anthony D’Onofrio setup Palmer two outs later to bring him home with a double to left, 2-1 Pride.
Hofstra would break the game open in the fourth with a four-run inning. They would bat around against Draper and Miles Cota, the first man out of the River Hawks pen. There was a throwing error by 3B Brandon Fish that started the rally with one out. There was a sac-fly to center by Bruggeman that was followed by a 2-run single to right center by Harrington that finished Draper’s night (3.1 IP, six hits, six runs, 4 earned runs, three BB, four strikeouts). Cota allowed the fourth run of the inning on an RBI double by DH Sammy Burman, 6-2 Pride. They added two more in the fifth to go up 8-2 as Harrington came through again with a 2-run single to right. The River Hawks tried to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth. They scored three runs off of Camarda (six innings, six hits, four earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts) with two outs. With the bases loaded, a wild pitch brought home one run, then Genther drove in the other two with a double to left, 8-4 Pride.
Hofstra scored single runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to make the final score Hofstra 10 UMass Lowell 4. The win was Hofstra Pride’s head coach Frank Catalanotto’s 100th career win at the school. The two teams will meet on Saturday afternoon with Joshua Becker getting the ball for the River Hawks. First pitch is at 4 PM.
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