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Men’s baseball swept by UMass Lowell on Friday

The Black Bear baseball series against the University of Massachusetts Lowell Riverhawks was moved to Mahaney Diamond, with Lowell still serving as the home team. The Black Bears dropped the first game of the twinbill 4-3.

The game did not get off to a good start for the Black Bears starting pitcher, third-year right hander Justin Courtney, as he plunked Riverhawks second-year center fielder Chris Sharpe and gave up a single to second-year shortstop Oscar Marchena. After recording the first out of the inning with a strikeout, redshirt first-year catcher Austin Young poked a single to center, bringing Sharpe home and giving Lowell a 1-0 lead. Third-year left fielder Colby Maiola flew out to right field, bringing Marchena across to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Black Bears would answer back in the top half of the third. First-year first baseman Hernan Sardinas led off with a single, followed by a single by second-year third baseman Danny Casals, sending Sardinas to third. Casals stole second, putting two runners on in scoring position. After a foul out, fourth-year right fielder Tyler Schwanz roped a double into the left center fielder gap, plating both runners to tie the game at 2.

Maine would take the lead in the top of the sixth. Schwanz would get things started with a double down the left field line and would move to third on a bunt single by second-year left fielder Colin Ridley. Third-year center fielder Brandon Vicens plated the run with a sacrifice fly, running the score to 3-2.

Courtney had settled down nicely after that shaky first, but the wheels would come off again in the bottom half of the inning. Marchena led off with a double to left. Second-year first baseman Steve Passatempo then belted his first homer of the season to left, giving the Riverhawks the lead for good at 4-3. He would surrender a single between two flyouts before being removed for fourth-year left hander Connor Johnson. However, the threat was still alive after a hit batsman and a double steal put runners in scoring position. Johnson was able to wiggle out of trouble with a strikeout, but the damage was done.

Courtney (2-3) went 5.2 innings of work, surrendering four earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out seven. Third-year right hander Andrew Ryan got the start for Lowell, giving up three earned on seven hits while walking one and striking out six over 5.1 innings of work.

Black Bears swept in doubleheader

The Black Bears were unable to get the bats going in the second game of the doubleheader, as they dropped game two to the Riverhawks on Friday.

The Black Bears had third-year Jonah Normandeau on the hill for game two. After recording the first two outs with ease, second-year first baseman Steve Passatempo drew a walk. Redshirt first-year catcher Austin Young singled him over to third. Normandeau then committed a balk, bringing Passatempo in for what turned out to be the game-winning run.

The Black Bears had no answers for Lowell’s starter, second-year right hander Collin Duffley. After giving up two hits in the first inning, he settled in, giving up just one hit the rest of the way. Duffley tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits while striking out 10 over seven innings.

The Riverhawks would add insurance runs in the sixth. A similar pattern was set as Normandeau would get the first two guys out to start the inning, before issuing a free pass to third-year left fielder Colby Maiola. Second-year designated hitter Russ Olive then belted his first homer of the season to push the score to 3-0.

Normandeau (0-3) took the loss in this game, giving up three earned runs on five hits while issuing three walks and striking out six.

The Black Bears fell to 6-15, while the Riverhawks improved to 12-8. These two teams will play the series finale on Sunday, April 9 at noon.

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