FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: April 15, 2006

CONTACT: Alan Wickstrom (617) 287- 7815

 

OLSON LEADS RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE BASEBALL

IN SWEEP OF UMASS BOSTON, 4-3, 8-7

 

WALTHAM, MA – Peter Olsen drove in the go-ahead runs in both games of a Little East Conference baseball twinbill today as Rhode Island College swept host University of Massachusetts Boston with a 4-3 win in the opener and an 8-7 victory in game two in Waltham, MA at Yetten Field.  The Beacons fall to 11-10 overall and 3-3 in the LEC, while the Anchormen improve to 13-14 and 5-3.

 

Peter Olson crushed a triple to deep center field to plate Jim Connell, who had been hit by a pitch with two outs, to break a 2-2 tie and give Rhode Island College a 3-2 edge in the top of the sixth inning.  Josh Cardoso followed with a single to center for an important insurance run and a 4-2 Anchormen lead.  UMass Boston threatened in the bottom of the ninth when sophomore right fielder AJ Luongo (Malden, MA) drew a leadoff walk to prompt a move to the pen for Rhode Island College’s Eric Fama.  Following an out, sophomore first baseman Derrick Plante (Medford, MA) worked a walk and sophomore second baseman Ryan Oshima (La Jolla, CA) singled to right center to load the bases.  Junior center fielder Bob Kniffen (Halifax, MA) reached on a fielder’s choice to score Luongo and pull the Beacons to within 4-3 with two outs.  Junior catcher Billy Gannon (Milton, MA) walked to re-load the bases, but junior third baseman Bryan Curran (Brockton, MA) flew out to center field to end the game. 

 

UMass Boston got on the board first when Plante singled down the right field line to bring home a run for a 1-0 lead after two innings, but the Anchormen got the run back in the top of the third when Brian Burrows hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 1-1.  The Beacons took a 2-1 edge when Kniffen led off the bottom of the third with a single and came around to score on the combination of a Gannon single and an RIC throwing error.  Rhode Island College knotted the score again when Burrows reached on an infield hit and the ensuing throw went wild to bring home Olson (led off with single) with two outs in the fifth.

 

Starting pitcher Eric Thibault (4-3) earned the win for the Anchormen, going eight-plus innings, while allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk, while fanning nine.  Eric Fama earned the save with an inning of one-hit relief and two walks.  Sophomore righthander Nick Conway (Methuen, MA) (3-4) took the loss for UMass Boston, allowing four runs (three earned) in eight innings, while walking one and striking out nine.

 

Ray De La Cruz drew a two-out walk and Olson stroked a single to left field that brought a throw home, but after a collision at the plate, De La Cruz was called safe to snap a 7-7 tie with an 8-7 edge in the top of the 10th inning, and held on for the win. 

 

The Anchormen jumped out early with four first-inning runs when Chris O’Connors cracked a run-scoring triple and later scored on a Connell single.  Burrows then singled home Michael Naylor, who had walked prior to Connell, and Cardoso plated Connell with a single of his own.  The Beacons took advantage of an error in the bottom of the frame to get a run back and scored five more times in the second, highlighted RBI singles from Oshima, Kniffen and Curran to give them a 6-4 lead.  Burrows drove in another run for Rhode Island College in the third and Jeff Costa knocked in a run as well in the fifth, both with singles, to knot the contest at 6-6.  Curran got the lead back for UMB with an RBI double in the sixth to make it 7-6, but Connell came through with a two-out triple to score pinch-runner Luis Feliz with the tying run at 7-7 to set up Olson’s game-winner in the 10th.

 

Fama (2-1) earned the win with two innings of relief, giving up no runs on one hit, while striking out one and senior righty Ryan Blanchard (Gloucester, MA) took the loss for the Beacons, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks, while fanning three in the final six innings of relief.

 

UMass Boston will be in action again on Tuesday, April 18 when it returns to Waltham to take on Little East Conference foe University of Southern Maine at 3:00 p.m., while the Anchormen travel to Elms College on April 18 for a 7:00 p.m. start.

-30