Baseball Scores Early to Earn 9-4 Non-Conference Victory over Corsairs

MEDFORD – The Tufts University baseball team scored all the runs it would need before making two outs in the game and went on to a 9-4 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in non-conference action Tuesday at Huskins Field.

Freshman Steven Landry was one of four Jumbo relievers who did not allow a hit.

Tufts led 3-0 with no outs and 6-0 with one out in the first inning. Later in the ball game, four Tufts relievers did not allow a hit over four innings of work. The Jumbos improved to 19-5 while the Corsairs fell to 11-15.

After junior 3B Elias Varinos led off with a single to right and took second on a wild pitch, junior CF Justin Mills singled up the middle scoring the first run. A Corsair error followed, then Jumbo sophomore DH Kyle Cortese stayed hot and doubled home two runs giving the hosts a 3-0 lead before there were any outs. A pair of walks then loaded the bases and senior catcher Harrison Frickman was hit by a pitch making it 4-0. With the bases still loaded, senior SS Will Shackelford doubled home two more runs for a 6-0 lead still with just one out.

That chased Corsair sophomore starter Max Penton, and junior reliever Shane Reardon came on and got the final two outs. The Jumbos sent 11 men to the plate in the first.

Junior 3B Mike Knell opened the Corsiar second by hitting a solo home run to left, his sixth of the spring. Senior LF Pat Vartanian later hit a one-out double to left-center, but Tufts freshman starter Lucas Gustavson got a strikeout and a ground ball back at him to end the inning.

Tufts scored two more runs before an out was made in the second. Cortese was at it again, hitting his second double in as many innings to score senior LF Casey Santos-Ocampo who had walked. Cortese then took third on a passed ball and scored on a single up the middle by freshman 1B Peter DeMaria making the score 8-1.

UMD opened the third with consecutive singles by freshman 2B Jon Candiales, senior CF Chris Wood and junior SS JR DiSarcina. Candiales and Wood scored on a Tufts error during a fielder's choice by sophomore RF Tucker Hetherman closing the gap to 8-3. Gustavson limited the damage by getting Knell to fly out to right, a pop-up by senior 1B Jack Harrington and Vartanian to fly to center.

In the top of the fourth, junior DH Nick Andrews hit UMass Dartmouth's second home run of the day pulling the guests within 8-4.

Gustavson got through the fifth with a 1-2-3 inning to set himself up for the win. He allowed six hits and four runs (three earned). Reardon settled things down nicely for UMD, finishing 4.2 innings allowing four hits and two runs.

Tufts added an unearned run against junior reliever Zack DelVecchio after two were out in the seventh. Mills walked and a fly ball by Santos-Ocampo was dropped allowing Mills to score for a 9-4 advantage.

Junior Brent Greeley, freshmen Steven Landry and Michael Volgende and junior Spencer Langdon did not allow a Corsair hit coming out of the Jumbo bullpen. Hetherman and Knell had earned walks to start the eighth and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. However, Volgende bore down and got the next two outs on a swinging strikeout and a line-drive out.

Cortese finished 2 for 3 with three rbis and two runs for Tufts. Varinos had two hits and both Mills and Santos-Ocampo scored twice. Gustavson improved to 2-1 with the win.

Penton lasted only one-third of an inning in his start and dropped to 1-1.

The Jumbos next travel to Colby College for NESCAC East action this weekend. UMass-Dartmouth has non-league action at Western New England on Thursday.