May 2, 2009



Waltham, MAFifth-seeded Rhode Island College saw its season come to an end in losing a doubleheader (10-5, 7-5) to fourth-seeded UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon at Yetten Field in first round action of the 2009 Little East Conference Baseball Championship Tournament. It was a best of three series that the Beacons won, 2-0.


The Anchormen finish with a 24-15 overall record, equaling the 2008 and 1979 club's program record for wins in a season. UMass Boston improves to 19-20 on the season and will move on to play top-seeded Southern Maine on Thursday, May 7 at noon in Gorham, ME. 


Junior Drew Tambling (Sterling, MA) led off the seventh inning of game two with a pinch-hit triple to left field for UMB, before freshman center fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT) followed with an infield single.  Sophomore second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) plated Tambling with a bullet to right field to tie the score at 5-5 and put runners on the corners.  Walsh stole second base and sophomore shortstop Dan Noonan (Westport, MA) came through with a two-run single to right field to make it 7-5.


Rhode Island College took a 2-0 first inning lead when sophomore designated hitter Gary Levesque (East Providence, RI) crushed his team-leading 11th home run to left center field, but UMass Boston cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame when Walsh reached on a one-out single, stole second and came around to score on a Noonan RBI single.  The Anchormen came up with single runs in the second and third, getting a run on an error in the second and another score in the third on a wild pitch to take a 4-1 margin.  The Beacons came right back with three runs in the third on an RBI double off the bat of Walsh, an error and a run-scoring ground out off the bat of sophomore catcher Tim Fontaine (Worcester, MA) to knot the game at 4-4.  Rhode Island College reclaimed the lead in the fifth when Levesque led off with a double and later scored on a ground out by senior shortstop Josh Cardoso (Dartmouth, MA).


Freshman Matthew Young (Colchester, CT) (1-1) picked up his first collegiate win with two-plus innings of two-hit relief for UMB, while striking out four and walking one, before yielding to senior Anthony Lauretto (Pembroke, MA), who earned his school-record tying fourth save of the year after hurling a hitless ninth, while fanning a batter.  Sophomore Rob Rushton (Freetown, MA) took the loss in relief for RIC, going 3.2 innings and giving up three runs on four hits, while striking out three.


Rhode Island College got on the board first in the opening game when senior center fielder B.J. Doyon (Douglas, MA) crushed a one-out triple to left field and Levesque legged out a triple of his own, but was stranded on third as RIC took a 1-0 edge.  UMass Boston answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning when Walsh doubled to left field and Noonan followed with a walk to set up a run-scoring single by senior designated hitter Eric Salvador (Middleboro, MA).  Noonan went to third on the hit and later scored on the back end of a double steal with Salvador taking second base.  Fontaine gave the Beacons a 3-1 lead when he reached on an error and later scored when sophomore first baseman Connor Reinfurt (Manchester, NH) stroked a triple to right center field.


UMass Boston tacked on two more runs in the third on a two-run double off the bat of Reinfurt for a 6-1 advantage, but the Anchormen chipped away with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to pull to within 6-3.  Levesque plated the run in the fourth with a single and sophomore left fielder Mike Giustino (Wappingers Falls, NY) cracked a one-out triple to left field and later scored on a single from senior third baseman Jeff Costa (Pawtucket, RI) in the fifth.  The Beacons answered with a pair of runs in the sixth when Fontaine blasted his first career home run off the top of the scoreboard in center field for an 8-3 lead.  UMass Boston added a run in the seventh on a throwing error, before Rhode Island College scored twice in the eighth when junior right fielder Jared Rossi (Johnston, RI) led off with a triple to right and scored on one-out RBI single from Levesque, who later scored on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Cardoso to make it 9-5.  The Beacons scored the final run of the contest on a throwing error in the eighth.


Sophomore southpaw Andrew LeBrun (Stoneham, MA) (4-3) saw his scoreless streak come to an end at 17 2/3 innings, but earned the victory for UMB, allowing, three earned runs on eight hits and five walks, while striking out four in five innings.  Levesque (3-4) suffered the loss for RIC, yielding eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and four walks, while fanning six in five and two-thirds innings.


 Noonan went 4-4 with three runs batted in, including a two-run single in the seventh inning of the second game.


Noonan and Walsh each had five hits on the day for UMass Boston, while Levesque collected six hits and five RBI for RIC.