LeBrun Shines For Beacons

Ryan Thomas

After scoring double-digit runs in nine consecutive games, UMass Boston’s offense was finally quieted down. Lucky for them though, sophomore lefty Andrew LeBrun was there to make up for it.

The Beacons were held to four runs, their lowest output since a 5-1 loss to McDaniel College on March 31, but LeBrun stymied Western Connecticut State’s bats for eight innings and the Beacons beat Colonials, 4-3, Saturday. With the win, UMass Boston improved their record to 12-6 (4-3 in the Little East).

LeBrun, who improved his record to 2-3, went the distance for UMass Boston, scattering four hits – three in the first inning – while striking out nine and walking five. The Stoneham, MA native retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced, and finished with 138 pitches.

“He pitched a hell of a game,” senior second baseman and outfielder Ryan Oshima said. “You can’t ask for much more.”

Western Connecticut State head coach John Susi said LeBrun “did a great job. He really settled down after that [shaky] start and kept us off-balance. He used his changeup well and spotted his fastball.

“He pitched well inside to both lefties and righties, which I thought was unusual.”

Designated hitter Eric Salvador paced the Beacons’ offense with three hits and two runs batted in. Salvador also scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth on a Drew Tambling RBI ground out to second base.

After the start of the game was delayed three and a half hours due to travel complications, LeBrun started off wild, walking two and giving up three runs in the first, spotting the Colonials a 3-0 lead after half an inning.

LeBrun said that he was thrown off by the delayed start of the game, but once he got through the first he was able to get a better feel for his pitches. “I just settled in and found a groove,” he said.

“I just did whatever worked, made some small adjustments and put it in cruise control.”

The Beacons scratched a run back in the bottom half of the first inning. Second baseman Ryan Walsh hit a one-out single up the middle and then advanced to third base a few pitches later when West Conn starter Bill Armstrong’s pickoff attempt got past first baseman Matt Perper. Tim Fontaine then hit a ground ball to first base, scoring Walsh.

UMass Boston tied the game at three in the bottom of the third when Eric Salvador snuck a two-run single down the third base line, scoring Fontaine and Walsh.

The last hit LeBrun allowed was a one-out line drive single to West Conn second baseman Zack Dandrea in the top of the fifth. After that, it was smooth sailing for him.

Bill Armstrong (2-3) took the loss despite pitching well. The herky-jerky lefty pitched eight innings of six-hit ball while striking out six and walking three.

UMass Boston centerfielder Mark McCormack, who entered the game hitting .441, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.