UMass Lowell pitcher Andrew Ryan delivers a pitch during the first inning of the first game. (Matt Dwyer/Connector)
The UMass Lowell baseball team defeated the Stony Brook Seawolves in doubleheader America East action during Friday matinee action at LeLacheur Park.
The River Hawks advanced to an 18-12 overall record and a 7-3 conference record with the two victories, while Stony Brook settled for perfect .500 records in both overall and conference play.
“Anytime you can beat the premier team in this league two times in a day, it’s a special day,” said UMass Lowell head coach Ken Harring.
The two wins place the River Hawks in first place in the America East Conference.
The wins also mark the first time the program has ever swept a conference doubleheader.
UMass Lowell won the first game 7-5.
River Hawks junior pitcher Andrew Ryan pitched seven innings striking out nine batters on 123 pitches.
The Seawolves started freshman pitcher Brian Herrmann who struck out seven batters through 5 and 2/3 innings.
Ryan kept the deficit close only allowing two runs. Ryan and relief pitchers junior Luke Tomczyk and closer Nick Rand found themselves in dangerous places throughout the game.
UMass Lowell had three errors that proved costly in getting out of bad situations. The three still kept their composure, sealing the win for the River Hawks.
The offense for the River Hawks got going in the 5th inning. Sophomore centerfielder Chris Sharpe was the catalyst for a big run for UMass Lowell, a play that gave the River Hawks a one-run lead going into the sixth inning.
The team would score six unanswered runs through three innings.
During the rally, sophomore right-fielder Michael Young hit his second homerun of the season. Top slugger Sharpe hit his fourth triple of the year to build on the UMass Lowell lead.
The River Hawks hung on to the lead for the rest of the first game.
“We dumped a couple balls in, which we haven’t done all year,” Coach Harring said on the team’s offensive play. “It’s a product of them making adjustments to improve.”
Young and sophomore designated hitter Russ Olive were the big contributors for UMass Lowell. Russ had two hits and three RBIs. Young had two hits and 2 RBIs. Olive topped both games with a total of five RBIs.
Sophomore pitcher Colin Duffley pitched a complete game shutout in the second game, helping UMass Lowell win 4-0.
Duffley struck out seven batters through seven innings on 98 pitches. He improves his mark as the team leader in wins (5) and strikeouts (56).
Junior second baseman Ben Prada added to his steals count, continuing to lead the team with 11 steals.
Freshman pitcher Greg Marino got the start for Stony Brook. The UMass Lowell hitters got off to a good start against the freshman.
The four runs scored by the River Hawks was the start that the team needed after going on a slow start in the first game.
Marino kept the score down, striking out seven batters. However, Stony Brook was shut down by standout pitcher Duffley.
The Seawolves only managed two hits as Duffley and the UMass Lowell defense had an answer for anything the Seawolves had against them.
The second game ended with a 4-0 result for the River Hawks.
UMass Lowell and Stony Brook will play one more game to finish their series on Saturday at LeLacheur Park at 12 p.m. The River Hawks will then move on to play a non-conference home doubleheader against Brown.