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Dawgs comeback to beat Coppin State, 12-3

Andrew Casali had three runs, three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run home run, against Coppin State.

Andrew Casali had three runs, three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run home run, against Coppin State.

After a tough start to the season against top-ranked competition and all on the road, the UMBC Retriever bats heated up as they returned home. For a second-straight day the Retrievers earned 12-3 victories.

Their win against Coppin State was much different than their one against Towson, however. UMBC went down 3-0 after one inning but roared back to get the victory as they scored in seven out of their eight innings taking the plate.

“We all believe we’re going to win no matter what happens early on,” Kevin Lachance said. “We just try the process and it will all work out.”

Freshman Colton Hower had a rough outing in his debut on the hill for the Retrievers. He walked Eric Crossman and hit the net two batters, Eric Crossman and John Kraft, with pitches to load the bases right away for the Golden Eagles. Then, Bryant Miranda singles to left field to bring Crossman in. Darien Percell reached on a fielder’s choice, but an error by UMBC first baseman Jamie Switalski allowed both Kraft and Criss to cross home plate.

UMBC was down 3-0 right out of the game and when Hower walked Nazier McIlwain, Coppin State had two runners on base, with one in scoring position and only one out. The Retrievers made a quick call to the bullpen, bringing in left-handed freshman Andy Rozylowicz. He got them out of the jam without any more damage after a ground ball and a pop out ended the inning.

But Lachance, coming off a five-hit game, gave UMBC the boost they needed after their poor start with a home run to left field. He finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and two RBIs and drew two walks as he raised his season batting average to .463.

“I’m just seeing the ball well,” Lachance said. “I’m just focusing on swinging on good pitches, but our whole team has been hitting the ball well, especially the last couple of games.”

Though UMBC was not able to cut the deficit any more that inning, Rozylowicz sent Coppin State down in order in the second inning, fanning the first and third batters to step to the plate. Crossman flew out to center field.

Two of UMBC’s first three batters went out in the bottom of the third, but AJ Wright single up the middle and stole second to get in scoring position before Mitchell Carroll brought in home with a single to center field.

Once again, UMBC was not able to take the lead, but lessened their deficit in the second inning.

The fourth inning was when UMBC was able to go ahead. Though Andre Casali grounded out to start off the inning, they got two base runners as Connor Hax singled to right field. and Wright took a walk. Tim Kelly was able to bring Hax in with a single to center field. Carroll then took a walk to load the bases before Lachance showed great patience and drew another walk to bring in the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run.

After a strong 3.2 innings pitched with only three hits allowed and three strikeouts, Rozylowicz was taken out of the game for Michael Kirschbaum, and he sent the Golden Eagles down in order to maintain UMBC’s 4-3 lead.

Then Casali jacked a two-run home run over the left field fence to bring Switalski around as well after he led the inning off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch.

“It was an up and in pitch,” Casali said. “I’ve been thrown a lot of inside pitches lately and I was able to get under one.”

It was the second of five-straight innings with a run scored. The sixth was even more potent with Hunter Dolshun hitting an RBI single to bring Lachance in for a score. Then Casali doubled to right to bring Nick Naumann in. Haxx grounded out to short, but Dolshun ran across home plate before Casali added a fourth run in the inning on a balk.

“When they got good pitches to hit they put some good swings on the baseball and the byproduct of that was a lot of hits,” UMBC head coach Bob Mumma said. “They hit the ball hard, swung the bats hard and hit the ball well and created a lot of really good things offensively.”

The Retrievers led 11-3 after the sixth inning. In the seventh Nick Loiodice scored off a whild pitch and in the eighth Hax brought Casali in for his third run of the game in the eighth.

And for a second-straight game, UMBC finished their opponent off with a three-up, three-down top of the ninth.

Lachance leads UMBC with 25 hits and his .463 batting average ranks in the top 40 in all of Division I baseball. He leads the America East in batting average, hits, runs scored, total bases and stolen bases.

“He’s an outstanding baseball player, great feel for the game and if we’re going to accomplish the goals that we have he’s going to be a part of that,” Mumma said. “He’s making it look pretty easy right now. It’s hard to do what he’s doing from a hitting standpoint.”

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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