Little East Conference Tournament - Day Four
Southern Maine Falls to UMass Dartmouth 6-3
GORHAM, Maine -- Senior pitcher Sean Callahan (Colchester, Vt.) earned his fourth win of the season giving the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 7 1/3 strong innings as the Corsairs defeated the University of Southern Maine Huskies 6-3 Saturday afternoon in Game Ten of the 2017 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament at Ed Flaherty Field.
The victory propelled the Corsairs, 25-19 overall and 2-1 in the tournament, into the championship game against in-state rival University of Massachusetts Boston. The Huskies finished the tournament 2-2 and are 30-11. The Huskies will wait to hear if they will receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament that starts next week.
Despite giving up 10 hits and three walks, Callahan kept the Huskies' offense in check. He was able to work out of a couple of jams in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before getting into a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning. Callahan was working on two days rest after going eight innings in a victory over Eastern Connecticut State University on the first day of the tournament.
The Corsairs gave Callahan a 1-0 lead in the second inning when senior Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) led off the frame with a single, moved to second on a balk and scored on senior Ezequiel Sanchez's (Mantia, Puerto Rico) single to right field.
Southern Maine equalized in the fourth inning when senior Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) led off the inning with a hustle double. Bender took third on a ground out, and scored on senior Paul McDonough's (Wells, Maine) ground ball out.
UMD regained the lead in the sixth as junior Josh O'Neill (Halifax, Mass.) singled, moved up on a sacrifice fielder's choice and scored on a costly two-out infield throwing error after freshman Josh Knell's (Dennis, Mass.) line drive was caught.
Freshman Mitch Baker (Braintree, Mass.) delivered a two-run single in the seventh to give UMD a 4-1 lead.
The Huskies loaded the bases in the eight against Callahan, and picked up one run on a wild pitch, and a second on a single from freshman Andrew Olszak (Danvers, Mass.) to pull within one. UMD brought on freshman Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass.) to get the final out of the inning.
The Corsairs picked up a pair of insurance runs in the home half of the frame on a two-out double by junior Kenny Michael (Norwood, Mass.).
Tellier got the first two outs in the ninth inning before giving up a couple of ground ball singles by McDonough and sophomore Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) to bring the tying run to the plate. The rookie pitcher was able to get the final out on a ground ball to earn his second save of the season.
Sophomore Andrew Hillier (Bangor, Maine) led the Huskies' 13-hit attack with three singles. Bender, Dexter and sophomore Zach Quintal (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) had two hits apiece. Sophomore southpaw Matt Correale (Peabody, Mass.) took the loss after giving up two runs.
UMass Boston got a brilliant 6 1/3-inning relief performance from junior Bryan Kaufman (Farmingdale, N.Y.) to defeat UMass Dartmouth 8-6 in the championship game of the tournament. Kaufman allowed an unearned run on four hits while striking out 12. He came on in the third inning to put out the fire after UMD had scored four times to take a 5-2 lead.
UMB scored two runs in the home half of the third, fourth and fifth to claim its second LEC title, and first since 2010.