52°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boys of Summer Looking To Continue Success

Coming into 2011, the Beacon baseball team is actually a target, a team their opponents are gearing up for. Being under .500 for the last few seasons, Beacon baseball was nothing more than a game on the schedule. After improving their win total from 2009 to 2010 by a remarkable 13 games, the Beacons are now a hot ticket around campus and a team that should have a much improved fan base.

 

The Beacons head into the 2011 campaign as the number 13 team in all of Division 3. This is the first time the Beacons have entered a season ranked in school history. The Beacons are also the highest ranked team in all of New England.  It is truly remarkable, if not very impressive for a team that won only 19 games heading into 2010.  The highlight of the 2010 season was the fact that the Beacons advanced to their first ever College World Series, something that was always a goal for the team but something that was never reached.

 

As much of an honor and accomplishment it was to reach the college World Series, the stay was not very long. The Beacons were outscored 25-3 in their two games, being the first team eliminated. However, considering how far this program has come in recent years, this was a huge step in the right direction where now it is expected to at least get back to the LEC championship game and play for the right to go back to the World Series.

 

What UMB does have on their side is majority of their starters are returning. Seven starters are returning including the teams leading hitter, senior Ryan Walsh. Walsh led the team with a .403 average and a team best 21 doubles. Other key returners are senior catcher Tim Fontaine who had a .328 average and a team high 11 home runs, and junior centerfielder Mark McCormack. McCormack had a stellar sophomore season which saw him bat .355 and 24 stolen bases.

 

As for the mound, the key returner in this group is James Dalton. Dalton, a senior from Florida had the best ERA on the team with a nifty 2.82. He also pitched the most innings on the team with 83 and had the most strikeouts with 72. Dalton plays a huge part in their success this season and with another impressive season, Dalton has the ability to carry the Beacons back to the World Series.

 

A concern for the team entering camp would have to be the pitching staff as a whole. The team had an ugly 5.56 ERA, which is perfectly ok when your opponents are throwing up a 7.48 ERA and your offense is batting .325 as a team. If the Beacons can right the pitching staff, which saw 9 different pitchers take the bump to start a game, 32 wins will be a piece of cake.

 

With only loosing 4 seniors and having plenty of depth, the Beacons will surely be a team that not many teams will not want to mess with. Notable games for the Beacons are against number 4 ranked Cortland St on March 15 in Florida, a double-header against number 24 Eastern Connecticut on April 16 and then against number 19 Wheaton on May 3 in Norton, MA.