River Hawks, Rand Capture America East Opener
VESTAL, N.Y. — Behind strong performances in each aspect of the game, the UMass Lowell baseball team picked up a 5-0 win against Maine in the opening round of the America East Championship on Wednesday at Binghamton University.
Senior Nick Rand (Hyde Park, N.Y.) earned his first career postseason win with eight shutout innings, scattering four hits and striking out six for the River Hawks (19-34). Oscar Marchena (Miami, Fla.) got things going with a two-run home run in the first and Mark Tumosa (Willington, Conn.) added three RBI.
“Obviously with what Nick Rand did, he set the tone like that, it was big,” said head coach Ken Harring. “With tournaments like this, your seniors need to come up big, and Oscar got us going in the first inning, along with Mark Tumosa’s two big hits and three RBI. Those are three seniors that have been here before and know what it takes to win tournament baseball.”
The River Hawks will take on the regular-season champion Stony Brook on Thursday at 11 a.m.
After beginning a 6-4-3 double play to escape a jam in the top of the first, Marchena sent a 1-0 pitch into the UMass Lowell bullpen for the 2-0 lead for his second home run of the season. Robert Gallagher (Mullica Hill, N.J.) led off the frame with an infield single and scored the first run on the long ball.
Tumosa added to the lead with a two-run triple to the wall in center to score Michael Young (Chester, N.J.) and Vinnie Martin (Lodi, N.J.) to make it a 4-0 contest. Young reached on a dropped fly ball in right and Martin worked a walk in the frame.
Two innings later, Tumosa plated his third run as he singled to center to send Cam Climo (Billerica) home after the junior walked and stole second.
After the first inning, Maine’s (15-33) bats were silenced by Rand and the River Hawk defense as each potential threat was eliminated by a play in the field. Kendall Pomeroy (Shrewsbury) came out of the pen to close out the victory.
This was the second year in a row that UMass Lowell shut out its first-round opponent in the America East Championship, as the River Hawks took down Albany, 4-0, in 2018.