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Corsairs drop home opener; fall to Framingham State, 9-4

Shane Leupold swings the bat.It began a blustery, but beautiful day for the UMass Dartmouth baseball team’s home opener. As the game progressed, however, untimely mistakes and missed opportunities caused dark clouds to develop.

The Corsairs (6-7) simply couldn’t weather the storm, suffering a 9-4 loss to Framingham State last Wednesday afternoon – marking their sixth defeat in seven games.

After opening the season with a loss to Curry College on March 12, the Corsairs won their next five games before suffering a loss to Becker College on March 16, which is when their current slump began.

UMass Dartmouth Coach Bob Curran was particularly disappointed with his bullpen’s effort, as they relinquished six runs on five hits. “We just couldn’t pitch to location,” Curran said.

Starting pitcher Chris Contre, though, put in six strong innings, striking out four and allowing three runs on six hits.

But, trouble began in the fifth inning when Contre hit Danny Chaisson. The Rams (8-7) eventually loaded the bases – all of this coming with no outs. However, Contre battled back with a crucial strikeout.

Matt Roberge followed with what was perceived as an easy double play ball, but Corsair first baseman Matt Worden couldn’t handle the throw to first and two runs scored.

“I got the ground ball and thought we had the double play,” Contre said. “But it’s the little things that we need to work on, and they are why we’re struggling.”

Curran reiterated much of the same, adding that all the blame shouldn’t be placed solely on the defense.

“You can’t give teams extra outs,” he said. “You’ve got to get off the field in three outs. And then we had the chance to score early, [because] they made an error in the first inning. We have to go out and get the runs; we have to hit the ball hard.”

In the third inning, the Corsairs took a 1-0 lead when – with two men on – Zak Talis managed an RBI single to left field.

The Corsairs added two more in the fourth. Dan DeMello led off with a single to right field and took third when Shane Leupold doubled down the third base line.

Cory Albanese then singled, scoring DeMello while advancing Leupold to third. Leupold scored off an Andrew Candon sacrifice fly making it 3-0.

But, after coming within one in the fifth, the Rams tied the game in the sixth when Chaisson hit an RBI single to left field. This, Curran said, was when things began to deteriorate for the Corsairs.

“We competed until they tied it up, then I thought we got flat,” he said. “I could feel it in the dugout.”

The Rams tore the game open in the seventh inning. It began with an error by Aaron Brunette, who mishandled Joe Sheehan’s grounder back to the mound.

Danny Tomasz doubled bringing Sheehan to third and Chris Blydell brought them both home with a long double. Brunette was pulled after Corey Ketterer’s RBI single gave the Rams a 7-3 lead.

His replacement, John Quigg, didn’t fare much better. He loaded the bases with consecutive walks then allowed a single to Pedro Acevedo. The Rams final run came off yet another error – this time by second baseman Andrew Candon.

“Errors have defiantly had an impact on the past couple games,” Contre said. “We have to overcome them. If we do, we can turn it around.”

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