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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A breakdown of baseball’s season, and what’s to come

Outfielder+Mariano+Jimenez+stares+into+the+field+after+a+tough+loss+on+May+2.+Photo+provided+by+Beacons+Athletics.+
Outfielder Mariano Jimenez stares into the field after a tough loss on May 2. Photo provided by Beacons Athletics.

UMass Boston Baseball was smacked 15–5 on Thursday May 2, which brought their record to 24–13. The team finished off the regular season at Babson College Sunday, May 5. As of May 2, the Little East Conference’s website lists UMass Boston as second in the LEC, just behind UMass Dartmouth.

The Beacons’ season-finale was out of conference, so they’ll finish 13–3 against LEC opponents. The Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth are 12–2. But with two games in hand, the Corsairs will play Eastern Connecticut in a double-header, which will have all the implications of the Beacons’ playoff seeding. 

The wrench in it all? Eastern Connecticut State University. The third-seeded Huskies held a 11–3 record in the LEC as of May 2, and were named the unanimous preseason favorites in the 2024 LEC Coaches Poll. However, East Conn could be considered an underperformer this year; they’ve won back to back LEC Championships, including a Division III College World Series title two years ago. That was also two years after UMass Boston’s three-peat, the only in LEC history. It’s a tight trio at the top of the Little East, with the two usual suspects involved. 

UMass Boston’s final game will not factor into playoff seedingit’s all riding on the Corsairs and Huskies’ double feature. Here’s what could happen:

If UMass Dartmouth wins both games, they lock into the one seed with a 14–2 LEC record. Eastern Connecticut would then drop to 11–5, taking the third seed. UMass Boston would finish in second place. 

If the games are split, the Beacons secure first. This scenario brings the Corsairs to 13–3 in conference, and the Huskies to 12–4. UMass Dartmouth would lose the tiebreaker with UMass Boston based on win percentage, resulting in the second seed for the Corsairs. Eastern Connecticut needs to sweep the series to avoid the third seed. 

The final possibility comes from two Huskie wins. Eastern Connecticut would earn the first seed with a 13–3 record, holding the tiebreaker over UMass Boston. If the Huskies pull this off, the top three LEC seeds go, in order, Eastern Connecticut at one, UMass Boston taking two and UMass Dartmouth holding three. 

So, the Beacons could end up anywhere from the one through three seeds come playoff time. They’ve expressed a particular likeness for playing on the Peninsula, and for a team with deep playoff run desires, home-field serves as a huge advantage. 

On another note, here’s a look at how hot the bats have been for the Beacons. 

Of their starting lineup, just one holds an average of below .270—still a remarkable feat. Their hottest hitter, Justin Gouveia, is over a hundred points above that at .377. 

The Beacons have a pair of players hitting above .350 this year—Gouveia and Aidan Blake—and a third topping .300, Bostyn Burris at .345. Either Gouveia or Blake lead the team in every major statistical category: this includes batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, total bases, walks, slugging and on-base percentage.

Gouveia’s average is tied for the fourth highest in LEC. Blake leads the LEC in OBP and OPS. The top of the Beacons’ lineup is as good as anybody’s that they’re going to face. 

Another standout story for this team has been freshman catcher, Brandon Gaer. The Connecticut native has done most of the catching while batting .276 with an OPS of .938, the third highest on the team.

UMass Boston built their season at the plate, and the pitching staff wasn’t “bad” by any stretch of the imagination. It was solid; the Beacons’ ERA actually sits second in the LEC at 5.18 (2). It’s about one and a half runs higher than first place Eastern Connecticut’s. The Wolves’ arms blow the Beacons out of the water.

Pitching is crucial this time of year. One player taking over a game can be season altering, and whoever has more players that can do that obviously has the advantage—no matter how good you can hit. Last year UMass Boston gave up 14 runs to the aforementioned Huskies in the championship—that’s a big bowl of bad, and they need to be more reliable.

But it’s not dreary in Dorchester, even if UMass Boston’s playoff fate is out of their hands. This team has a pretty good shot no matter where they land, and they’ve all bought into that.