Upon returning to Boston from the trip down to Florida, the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons defeated Roger Williams University in their home opener 4–2. UMass Boston finished with a modest 4–4 record down South, so it was key to make a statement when they began their season in New England. Freshman Dylan Fashempour was on the mound for the Beacons in the first game of the year at Monan Park—a tough task to ask a first-year pitcher who had only appeared in two games in Florida. With that said, Head Coach Brendan Eygabroat is never afraid to make a bold decision, and it really could not have worked out better.
The Beacons’ lineup gave Fashempour some early help, as senior Eddie Riley reached base with a single and was later driven in by junior Anthony Cecere. The 1–0 lead allowed Fashempour to settle in and get comfortable, so much so that he pitched a perfect second inning. Senior Nick Herzog hit a single in the fourth inning, and eventually scored on junior Danny Brown’s double. With two outs in the fifth, the Beacons were able to receive some good fortune and put this game out of reach. Seniors Kyle Boudrias and Herzog got on base with hits, and then both were able to score due to an error made by Roger Williams University’s catcher.
With the score at 4–0, Dylan Fashempour was pulled after he completed the seventh inning. He had a special night, striking out 10 batters and only giving up two hits and two walks. It is pretty remarkable and unheard of to see a freshman reach double-digit strikeouts or shut a team out, but he was able to do both in the same game.
Junior Ben Gottesman took over to kick off the eighth inning, where he retired the side 1-2-3 without any issue. With the relatively large lead in hand, the Beacons brought Gottesman back out for the ninth to close things out. After giving up a couple of hits to lead off the inning, the Beacons began making mistakes. A costly error gave up a run, followed by a sacrifice fly. With the gap tightening as the score was now 4–2, coach Eygabroat decided to turn to his usual closer, senior Bobby Tramondozzi. He hit the first batter he faced, but swiftly retired the next two batters to help give the Beacons a 4–2 victory.
Herzog had himself three hits in this ball game, which now gives him an average of .366 to go along with 10 runs batted in. Pitching was definitely the story of the day and will continue to be crucial to the Beacons success in 2019, but it also does not hurt that Herzog has been red hot since game one. They followed their win on opening night with a 9–8 victory the next day over Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. UMass Boston now has a record of 6–4 and has won four straight games. This week, they will play UMass Dartmouth at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Western New England University at 3 p.m. on Thursday, and will then wrap up the week with a double header against Salve Regina University beginning at noon on Sunday. Each of these games will be played on UMass Boston’s home field, Monan Park. Come out and support some Beacons baseball!