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Beacon baseball heads down to Florida for RussMatt invitational


A UMass Boston Baseball player at bat. Photo by Michael Vesci (He/Him) / Beacon Athletics.

It’s that time of year when baseball is headed down south. The Beacons have spent the past several days in Florida for the RussMatt Invitational where they faced off against several unfamiliar schools (1). The Beacons had an up and down trip, but they certainly caught the attention of others. 

Arriving in Florida, the Beacons were undefeated. They kicked off their season with a thrilling 8–7 victory over Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a convincing 7–1 win over Framingham State. Their game against New England College was postponed, so their next stop was Florida (1). The Beacons were fired up and as ready as ever to make the trip. 

They matched up against the Loras College Duhawks first, a team whose school hails from Iowa. The Beacons took care of the Duhawks with relative ease, winning 9–2. Pitcher Tim Cianciolo shut out the Duhawks for six innings with stellar offensive performances from Drew Metzdorf and Nick Palma, who both secured hits on three of their five at-bats (2). 

The excitement came to a halt, however, as the Beacons were met with their first two losses. The University of Benedictine’s Eagles proved to be a skilled opponent. The game was called due to a mercy rule after a 16–6 Eagle lead in the eighth inning. The Beacons were also dealt a loss by The University of William Patterson’s Pioneers, who beat them 9–3 (1). 

The Beacons needed a morale boost after the losses, and fortunately, that was exactly what they got. They went head-to-head with the State University of New York Brockpart Golden Eagles and made easy work of them, securing a 10–5 victory. Palma played a major role in the win, once again, alongside Aidan Blake, who extended his hitting streak to six straight games (3). 

Ithaca College and the Bombers were the next team to fall victim to the Beacons. The Beacons put on an absolute show and dropped bombs against the Bombers. The highlight of the day? Metzdorf hit for the cycle, making him the first Beacon to ever do so. Palma also hit in every game leading up to this one and extended his hitting streak to seven straight. The Beacons won the game 9–4 and seemed to be back in rhythm (4). 

However, next up on the schedule was the 11th-ranked Rowan University Owls; potentially the strongest opponent on their entire invitational schedule (5). It was an extremely tough matchup and the Beacons learned that the hard way. They were held scoreless for the first time all season, losing 3–0. All three runs were scored in the fifth inning. It was a generally positive showing for their pitching, but their offense was simply outmatched (6). 

John Hopkins University’s Blue Jays set the stage for a competitive bout, too. The Blue Jays went into the game with an intimidating 10–1 record, but the Beacons did not fear them. The game was back and forth for most of it until the Blue Jays put the game away in the ninth scoring three runs. The final score was 9–5, with the Beacons falling again in their trip down south (7). 

The trip had some good shows and some bad, but the Beacons fought relentlessly. Holding a top-ranked team scoreless for eight innings is nothing to brush overCianciolo had a great invitational. Blake, Metzdorf and Palma all played at high levels and made massive impacts offensively, making their names known to schools around the country. 

The team will make a stop in Providence Wednesday, March 22 to play Johnson & Wales University Wildcats before they return to Boston to play the Suffolk University Rams. They will conclude March with a homestand, so be sure to catch a game before the month ends and support the team(1)! 


  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/baseball/schedule 

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/3/9/timmy-time-takes-over-florida-shutout-performance-leads-baseball-to-big-win-to-kick-off-spring-break.aspx 

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/3/12/baseball-slides-back-into-win-column-with-10-run-performance-against-suny-brockport.aspx 

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/3/14/meet-the-metz-drew-metzdorf-hits-for-first-cycle-in-baseball-program-history-in-umass-boston-victory.aspx 

  1. https://www.d3baseball.com/top25/2023/2023Top25-week-3 

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/baseball/stats/2023/rowan-university/boxscore/8885 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary 

About the Contributor
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer