Offense Transparent for Beacons Baseball

Jaime Soto (top) and Mike Andriano (bottom) have been playing
great, and it shows.

Jaime Soto (top) and Mike Andriano (bottom) have been playing great, and it shows.

Ryan Thomas

At the start of the 2007 baseball season, it was proclaimed that pitching wins championships and offense sells tickets. Well not quite, apparently. At this point in the season, the Beacon offense couldn’t sell a bottle of water to a hapless, parched Boston Marathon runner after 26.2 miles.

After 26 games played, the Beacon offense is dwelling in the basement of almost every offensive statistical category. Yes, pitching wins championships, but a team can’t win without run support. Since the Beacons won 11-7 on April 11, bringing their record to a respectable 10-8, the UMass bats have been collecting dust, leading to these statistics:

• .272 team batting average, worst in conference (63 points behind).• .360 slugging percentage, worst in conference (119 points behind).• .345 on-base percentage, worst in conference (67 points behind).• 131 runs scored, second worst in conference (102 behind).• 215 hits, worst in conference (96 behind).• 105 runs batted in, worst in conference (93 behind).• 284 total bases, worst in conference (150 behind)• Fewest doubles (36) and homeruns (3) in conference (23 and 17 behind respectively).• 68 walks, worst in conference (55 behind).

Since the Beacons scored 11 runs in their win against Worcester State College, their offense has been all but dormant aside from senior pitcher and first baseman Jaime Soto. Soto has been on fire, going 9-21 (.430 BA) over his last five games with six RBI’s and one homerun. Soto also recorded the team’s only win since April 11 when he went the distance in a 5-3 complete-game win over the University of Southern Maine on April 22. Soto surrendered 10 hits and 4 walks while striking out a season-high 7 Huskies en route to only the second win in almost a month for the haphazard Beacons. From the start, the Beacons pitching staff has been very solid and consistent on the mound. Coach Brendan Eygabroat has done a commendable job of recruiting young pitching talent to UMass Boston’s baseball team, most notably freshman workhorse Mike Andriano and junior transfer Tom Michael. This season Andriano won Rookie Pitcher of the Week honors.

The Beacons rank fourth in team ERA (4.27), second in opponent’s batting average (.260), they lead the conference in fewest hits allowed by far (only 201, the second fewest is Southern Maine with 225) and fewest earned runs allowed (93). They have issued the fewest walks (78) and have held their opponents to only two homeruns in 26 games this season, also tops in the conference.

The Beacons have eight games remaining on their schedule, with two possible make-up games. If Jaime Soto’s bat can jump start the rest of the slumping UMass offense, there’s no doubt that the Beacons can put together a string of wins and climb right back into the Little East Conference playoff race. The pitching is there, it’s been there all season. It’s just a matter of scoring more than three runs a game and putting some decisions in the left-hand column. Prove me wrong Beacons. Show me your offense can sell some tickets so your pitching can win some championships. Or at least some big games anyway.