A Rollercoaster of a Ride

Bob Kniffen hi-fives fellow teammates after his performance at bat.

Bob Kniffen hi-fives fellow teammates after his performance at bat.

Ryan Thomas

Up and down we go. Come along everybody and ride the roller coaster that is the UMass Boston Beacon’s baseball season. I have to admit it’s a fun ride. All it’s missing is a name. “The Coaster of Chaos?” “Woes and Winning Streaks,” perhaps? Name games aside, 2007 has sure been an up-and-down, highs-and-lows type of season.

Just when I thought that this season would be set in stone as one of the disappointing type, the Beacons thrill ride brought me back up. In the matter of eight days, the Beacons went from second worst record in the Little East Conference at 2-6, 11-15, right into the middle of the pack. They now sit in fifth place 5-7, 15-16, trailing Rhode Island College and University of Southern Maine by one game as the season winds down.

All the talk about a stagnant offense? “Transparent,” as I put it so eloquently? Apparently not. Whether they read last week’s Mass Media sports section or their bats just woke up, something clicked and the Beacons have been doing some riding of their own. Riding the offense that is. Over the last five games, the Beacons have been averaging an astonishing 7.8 runs per game. Of their four wins in that time span, the average margin of victory has been 4.2 runs.

Nearing the ends of their collegiate baseball careers, the Beacon’s top three seniors have been carrying the team lately. Seniors Sean Ketterer, Bryan Curran and Jaime Soto have been the backbone of the Beacon’s offense the last five games. The three have collected 27 hits and 18 RBI with senior pitcher and first baseman Soto providing the lone long ball, his second of the season.

Soto has been providing for his team from the mound as well. The two wins UMass Boston has collected against the University of Southern Maine have come via Soto complete game victories. Soto has not dominated but he has pitched well, recording 11 combined strikeouts in the two victories.

With only three games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Beacons are going into the LEC Tournament on a roll, winning four out of their last five. More importantly, their offense is awake and ready to face whoever the upper-echelon teams of the Little East throw at them come tourney time. Pitching has been the Beacon’s rock all season, but now that their offense is clicking on all cylinders, teams should watch out because the Beacons are shining brighter than they have all season.