Eight-run eighth lifts UMass-Boston past baseball team

WALTHAM, Mass. – The UMass-Boston baseball team sent 12 men to the plate in the eighth inning, scoring eight runs, as the Beacons defeated the host Brandeis University Judges, 10-3, on Stein Diamond today.

Brandeis (17-13-1) grabbed an early lead on a sacrifice fly by junior DH Jon Winston (Nanuet, N.Y.). He plated senior 1B Chris Navis (Wapole, Mass.), who had singled, moved to second on a walk and stole third.

UMass-Boston (14-12) scored twice in the fifth to take the lead. Sophomore AJ Luongo (Malden, Mass.) singled to lead off the inning, while rookie RF Chris Oram (Lynn, Mass.) reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. After a balk put runners on second and third, junior CF Bob Kniffen (Halifax, Mass.) singled home the tying run. The go-ahead run scored when Oram came home on a double steal.

The Judges evened the score in the sixth when Winston scored on an RBI groundout by junior 3B Jeff Bourdon (No. Adams, Mass.). Brandeis could not capitalize with a runner on third and one out, as the Beacons played the infield in and cut down a runner at the plate.

Brandeis pitcher Tyler Robinson (Manotick, Ont.) looked good through the first seven innings, striking out 10 and walking none, allowing just one earned run. UMass-Boston got to him in the eighth, as the three of the first four batters reached. Junior P/LF Jaime Soto (Peabody, Mass.) drove in the go-ahead run after striking out in his first three at-bats. Sophomore James Collins (So. Boston, Mass.) relieved Robinson, but hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. Sophomore 1B Derek Plante (Medford, Mass.) singled to give the Beacons a 4-2 lead, while an error on a check swing by rookie pinch-hitter Adrian Pina (Hyde Park, Mass.) opened the flood gates to the eight-run, seven-hit inning. Brandeis tacked on an extra run in the ninth, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Kniffen was the top hitter for UMass-Boston, going 4-5 with two runs, two RBI and two stolen bases at the top of the line-up. Junior Bryan Curran (Brockton, Mass.) was 2-5 with a run scored and a stolen base. He also threw a Brandeis runner out at the plate in the eighth inning from centerfield. Junior Michael Mish (So. Hadley, Mass.) picked up the win with three innings of three-hit relief, improving to 3-0.

Brandeis was led by Navis, who was 3-5 with a double and a run scored, while senior SS Zach Golden (Milton, Mass.) was 2-5 with an RBI. On the hill, Robinson fell to 3-4 on the season despite his career-high 10 Ks in 7.1 innings of work.