DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Freshman Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass.) led off the bottom of the fourth to kick off the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's six-run inning, leading the Corsairs to a 10-4 win over nationally-ranked Salve Regina on Wednesday.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 10, Salve Regina 4
Records: UMass Dartmouth (11-10) | Salve Regina (13-4)
How it Happened
Junior Gianni Esposito (Peabody, Mass.) went five innings to start the game for the Corsairs, striking out five batters and limiting the Seahawks to just three runs. Along with Knell, senior Taylor Cacciola (West Greenwich, R.I.) blasted his own home run to centerfield in the bottom half of the seventh to cap a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, including 3 RBIs and two runs scored.
Salve Regina capitalized on a pair of errors by the Corsairs in the top half of the second, plating three runs in the inning to take an early advantage. The momentum switched instantly, when Erick Ramirez (Boston, Mass.) reached base safely after a dropped third strike. Knell proceeded to send the 0-1 pitch over the centerfield fence to cut the lead down to 3-2.
Later in the inning, with runners on second and third, freshman Jacen Hudson (Alvirne, N.H.) doubled down the left field line, scoring both Ezequiel Sanchez (Mantai, Puerto Rico) and Cacciola on the play and secure the lasting lead. Josh O'Neill (Halifax, Mass.) got in on the hit parade as he roped a single to left, scoring Hudson from second. Ramirez then singled drove another ball to left, scoring O'Neill from second.
In the following inning, Cacciola drove home Knell with his team-leading 10th double of the season, making it 7-3 in favor of the Corsairs. In the top of the seventh, Salve Regina cut within three when Alex Perry (North Attleboro, Mass.) doubled to left field to round John Militano (Miller Place, N.Y.) from second.
Cacciola ended the Seahawks rally, first by snagging a line drive to end the seventh inning, and then launching his fourth homerun of the spring to make it 9-4. UMass Dartmouth would add one more run as Brandon Polignone (Peabody, Mass.) ripped an RBI single.
Benjamin Lodge (Blackstone, Mass.) then closed the door for the Corsairs, retiring all six batters he faced in the final two innings of work.
Inside the Numbers
- Prior to going 3-for-4 with three RBIs at the plate, Cacciola was batting 2-11 with just one RBI in this previous three games against the Seahawks.
- In his last four games, Hudson has scored five runs and batted .375 with three walks and two RBIs. Sanchez was caught stealing in the bottom of the fifth, ending a 18-for-18 streak for UMass Dartmouth on steal attempts.
- With the win, the Corsairs snap a two game skid against the Seahawks, and lead the all-time series 18-6.
UMass Dartmouth will host Keene State on Saturday for a Little East Conference doubleheader, with the first game scheduled for 12 p.m.
Salve Regina sticks to the road, as the Seahawks head to Gordon on Friday with a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup with the Scots beginning at 2 p.m.