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NCAA Championship Regional Game 11
UMass Boston 3, Tufts 2

At Willimantic, CT
Friday, May 21, 2010

Game Box Score

Jake Crawford struck out a pair in a scoreless third inning

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Paired up as the 2-0 squads in the 2010 NCAA Division III regional here today, the University of Massachusetts Boston continued its improbable march to the NCAA Division III World Series as the seventh-seeded Beacons erased a 2-0 deficit and scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 3-2 victory over top-seeded Tufts University.

With the win, UMB is in the championship round Saturday at 5 pm, and will face the winner of the Tufts versus either Wheaton College or St. Joseph's College (Me.) contest, which takes place at 1 pm Saturday. Wheaton and St. Joe's finish the activity Friday night with the day's final elimination game.

The Beacons came into the bottom of the ninth trailing 2-1. Tufts, which had been rotating its pitchers throughout the game, brought in ace reliever Chris DeGoti (Miami, FL) to hold the lead in search of his 13th save of the season. It wasn't to be as UMB opened the inning with a double to the left-centerfield fence from senior left fielder Drew Tambling (Sterling, MA). Sophomore center fielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT) then reached on a two-base error as Tambling zipped to third base. Tufts recorded the first out on a foul pop, but a fly ball to left by junior catcher Tim Fontaine (Worcester, MA) allowed Tambling to tag up and score the tying run unearned. McCormack scored the winning run after a throwing error on junior first baseman Connor Reinfurt's (Manchester, NH) hard grounder.

Tufts had jumped on UMB starter Michael Andriano (Massapequa, NY) in the first inning, combining two hits with a walk and an error to take a 2-0 lead in the first meeting between the teams since 2000. With one out, junior DH Ben Walkley (Trumbull, CT) worked a walk and moved to second base on a ground single up the middle by sophomore third baseman Sam Sager (Cranston, RI) which the UMB middle infield almost turned into an out at second base. A wild pitch advanced both runners and junior right fielder Chase Rose (Scottsdale, AZ) lined a single into right field to drive in the go-ahead run. A sharp grounder that was playable at third base off the bat of sophomore first baseman Matt Collins (Hopkinton, MA) was the catalyst for an unearned run as Sager scored from third base on the error for the 2-0 lead. Andriano got out of the frame without further trouble.

Andriano pitched an outstanding game for UMB, going 8.2 innings while yielding just four hits and two runs, one of which was earned with four strikeouts, in one of his most effective outings of the year. He has made 12 appearances with seven starts. He did not get the win however, as junior reliever Tony Damon (San Bruno, CA) got the final out in the top of the ninth and became the pitcher of record, making him 5-2 on the year.

As they do frequently during the regular-season, Tufts incorporated a rotating pitcher strategy with sophomore Dave Ryan (Trumbull, CT) started and went two innings. Sophomore Jake Crawford (Boise, ID) tossed the third inning with a pair of strikeouts. Senior Tom Hill (Robbinsville, NJ) ran into some difficulty during his appearance in the fourth as he issued a walk to leadoff batter Fontaine before Reinfurt slashed a single into left field. A sacrifice bunt by senior Jeff Outzen (San Mateo, CA) moved the runners to second and third with one out, but a pop up to first base and a routine groundout kept it a 2-0 Tufts lead.

The difficulty continued into the fifth for Tufts as new pitcher freshman Dan Eisenberg (North Andover, MA) loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter with two outs. After running a 2-0 count on Reinfurt, Eisenberg was relieved by junior Pat O'Donnell (Worcester, MA) who tossed two more balls to force in a run as Reinfurt got the RBI. The side was retired on a hard liner to center by Outzen to keep the Jumbos ahead, 2-1. UMB threatened again in the sixth as sophomore third baseman Mike Mattei (Spencer, MA) led off with a line single to right off O'Donnell. A sacrifice bunt and a swinging bunt advanced Mattei to third, but he was left there after an inning-ending groundout.

Tufts then got two runners into scoring position for the first time since the first inning against Andriano, but the lefty worked out of trouble in the seventh by inducing a groundout to second base as the score remained 2-1. In the bottom of the seventh, the Beacons got their leadoff man aboard for the fourth consecutive inning, but again could not come up with the tying run as the sixth Tufts pitcher, junior Ed Bernstein (Foxborough, MA), got two strikeouts to retire the side after Fontaine produced UMB's third hit of the game to put runners at first and second with one out.

UMB picked up its eighth straight win and 14th in its last 16 starts after going 17-13 through 30 games. Tufts (33-6) saw its 12-game win streak halted.