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UMBC bats get hot in 12-3 win over Tigers

Freshman Jacob Christian earned a win in his first-ever home start as he pitched 5.2 strong innings.

Freshman Jacob Christian earned a win in his first-ever home start as he pitched 5.2 strong innings.

In their home opener after playing 11 road gamed to start the season, the UMBC baseball team had everything going in their favor as they beat beltway rival Towson, 12-3. Freshman Jacob Christian pitched 5.2 inning strong innings while the lineup gave him a big lead for his first collegiate victory. Senior shortstop Kevin Lachance certainly did his part to help in the victory, going 5-for-6. He started off with hits on his first five bats to go with three runs and three RBIs.

“We got some games under out belt early, which doesn’t always happen this time of the year. It takes a little time to get the bats going and certainly we’ve seen signs over the past few games,” UMBC coach Bob Mumma said. “We really swung the bat well and I think we’re getting more consistency through the lineup.”

The Retrievers moved into an early lead after Lachance’s lead-off single in the first innings ended up turning into a run. Lachance advanced to second on a fly-out by Nick Naumann and moved to third on a throwing error by the pitcher. Then he scored when Hunter Dolshun hit a sac-fly to center.

It was only the start of their big offensive night.

An inning later, junior outfielder Andrew Casali reached on an error by Towson shortstop Richie Palacios. Then he went to second when junior first baseman Connor Hax singled to right and finally scored on a second error by the Tigers. Towson committed four errors in the game.

“We’re not playing good defense,” Towson head coach Mike Gottlieb said. “Friday people will be at different positions on the infield. They might be the same people but they are going to be moved around. We have to do something different because what we’re doing right now isn’t working.”

Towson was able to cut UMBC’s two run lead in half in the top of the third inning when designated hitter led off with a double to right field and was soon brought around for a score. But while Towson left the Retriever without a run in the third inning, Christian sent the Tigers down in order in the fourth and the Retrievers blew started to blow things open in the bottom of the inning.

“I can’t complain. I think I did pretty well,” Christian said. “I tried my hardest to stay low in the zone.”

Christian also said that UMBC’s early lead really helped settle him down and took pressure off of him in his first home start.

“It’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulder,” he said. “I just have to get out there and get strikes; giving up a run or two is no big deal. I got the great bats behind me and the great gloves behind me. It’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.”

A triple by Casali with just one out on the board set him up for a run after Lachance singled down the middle. Naumann then singled down the right field line to bring both second baseman Mitchell Carroll and Hax in to put the Retriever ahead 5-1 after four innings.

Towson scored two runs in the sixth inning after Policelli homered to left field and Colin Gimblet doubled to left, scoring junior first baseman Chris Henze. But the Retrievers matched that in their next time at bat when Lachance scored off a single by Dolshun and Naumann scored right after following a sac-fly by Jamie Switalski.

The Retrievers continued their run of offense with five runs in the seventh inning to take a 12-3 lead. Towson went through three pitchers in that inning. Lachance doubled to left center to bring both Chris Convers and Hax in for runs. Switalski had a three RBI double to left field off Tiger freshman Dean Stramara. Dolshun, Lachance and Carroll all scored.

“I’ve been seeing the ball well to start the year and that continued today,” Lachance said. “It was good to get some hits and give some runs to the team.”

Denis Milkush closed the game out for UMBC with a one-two-three inning.

Towson sent six different pitchers to the mound against the Retrievers. Four of them were freshman and two were sophomores.

“The kids who pitched today were the ones who were rested after three games over the weekend,” Gottlieb said. “These were the guys who were available and they have to pitch sometimes to get experience and hopefully better and that is why they pitched today.”

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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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