Baseball Splits at UMass-Lowell to Close Out Season

LOWELL, Mass. – Sophomore Kevin Guthrie (Sarasota, Fla.) tossed a complete game and junior Will Marcal (Lexington, Mass.) recorded a pair of hits to lead the Brown baseball team to a 5-4 victory in the first game, as the Bears split a pair at UMass-Lowell in the season finale Tuesday at LaLacheur Park. 

Brown dropped the second game, 5-3, and ends the season at 13-24 overall. Lowell moved to 17-16 on the season.

In the first game, Guthrie went the full seven innings to earn the win, allowing two earned runs with three strikeouts. Marcal went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, while sophomore Noah Shulman (Merrick, N.Y.) also drove in a run.

Lowell struck first with a pair of runs in the first inning, taking advantage of a balk and a wild pitch to jump out to the early lead.

After two scoreless frames, the Bears reached the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, starting when rookie Marc Sredojevic (Mendham, N.J.) hit a one-out single up the middle. Sredojevic advanced to second on a groundout to third, and then scored from second when Marcal hit a two-out single to center to pull within one, 2-1.

Lowell responded in the bottom half of the inning by scoring a pair of runs on two hits to move out in front, 4-1. The Bears fought back with one run in the top of the fifth, as Marcal hit a two-out single to short with the bases loaded to pull with two, 4-2.

Guthrie held the River Hawks scoreless over the next three innings, including a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, before the Brown offense kicked into gear with three tallies in the top of the sixth. After Shulman doubled to drive in senior Wes Van Boom (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), Franco and Kerr drew consecutive one-out walks to load the bases. From there, Sredojevic reached on an error to second, scoring a pair of runs for the 5-4 advantage.

Lowell threatened in the bottom of the seventh, when Luke Reynolds singled and then reached second on a error, but he was thrown out at third by Franco on the next play as the Bears held on for the win.

In the second game, junior Chris Smith (Colleyville, Texas) was handed the loss after allowing five runs over six innings as the starter. Senior Daniel Massey (Greensboro, N.C.) went 2-for-3 with one run, while freshman Robert Henry (Cranston, R.I.), Franco and Sredojevic drove in one run apiece.

The two teams were scoreless over the first two frames, before the Bears jumped on the board with one run in the third. With two outs, Sredojevic singled up the middle to send in Henry for the lead, 1-0.

Lowell loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the third, but Smith pitched out of the jam, forcing a pop-up and a groundout to prevent any damage.  

In the fifth, Shulman worked a full count to a one-out walk and then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a groundout, before crossing the plate on a single by Franco for the two-run lead.

Brown went right back to work in the sixth, as Marcal led off with a walk before Massey and senior Nate Kukowski (Brentwood, Tenn.) followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Marcal was forced out at the plate for the first out, but Massey scored on a groundout on the next play for the three-run advantage. 

Lowell found its offense in the sixth when three straight singles allowed Matthew Sanchez to cross the plate, trimming the deficit to 3-1. With two outs and the bases loaded, Zach Tower launched a pinch-hit grand slam over the left field fence to push the home side in front, 5-3.

Junior Dan Kerr (Westfield, N.J.) opened the seventh with a walk, but Nick Boutoures retired three straight batters to seal the victory and salvage a split.