BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – With a series of latest nor'easters blanketing New England in snow, Mass Maritime has yet to host a home baseball game, with Hendy Field still suffering the effects of last week's heavy snowfall. As a result, Sunday's home doubleheader with Dean College was moved to Northboro, Mass.
Despite excellent hitting, the Buccaneers split the twinbill before dropping a Monday contest at Worcester Poly to fall to 3-6 on the season. Connor Kennedy (5-for-12) and Ethan O'Hare (4-for-12) swung the bats well in the three games, but Mass Maritime left 29 runners stranded and all three starting pitchers departed early.
In the opener against the Bulldogs, Mason Ashburn had a solid start, working around five hits and four walks, but striking out seven. Unfortunately, he took the loss (0-1) after surrendering three runs, one earned. Dean piled on nine more runs (six earned) against three relievers to close out the seven-inning win. Kennedy and O'Hare each had a pair of safeties in the 12-5 loss, with the former collecting a double and the latter a walk.
Maritime bats roared to life in the nightcap, however, pounding out 11 hits, five for extra bases, while working seven free passes and a hit batter. Five players collected a brace of hits, while Paul Sances and Kennedy drove home four runners. O'Hare's hits went for two and three bases respectively, while Sances and Kennedy joined Robert Dembitzki with doubles.
The game started as a slugfest, with both starting pitchers knocked out after three with the score 9-7 in MMA's favor. After Matt Wooster struggled in relief, walking three in one frame, Coach Mike Kelley's bullpen tactics paid off as John Teehan turned in a stellar three shutout inning-performance. The Hyde Park native allowed three hits without walking a batter to close out the 12-8 victory.
Unfortunately, the bats cooled off yesterday at WPI, as the Bucs lost 8-1. Once again, MMA ran into trouble early, as Matt Smith departed after 2 1/3 frames. Smith permitted five runs, four earned, on eight hits and two walks, though he did send down four on strikes.
Once more, the pen came through as four pitchers combined for 5 2/3 innings, whiffing six and allowing three unearned runs on five hits and five walks. Only Casey Furnas had two hits, drawing a base on balls as well. Jackson Simons walked and singled, while the Maritime lineup struck out 12 times and left a dozen on base.
Despite the myriad of scheduling changes, Kelley is confident in his team, noting, "We have a lot of work to do, and I'm confident the guys will get it done."
Kelley's nine are meant to host Emerson College for a 3:30 p.m. contest on Friday, but with the fourth nor'easter currently scheduled to add more precipitation, it seems likely that the Bucs will suffer their fourth postponement of the young season. In the meantime, stay tuned to www.mmabucs.com for all the latest.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate