The University of Massachusetts Boston baseball team reached a high-water mark for the program in the Division 3 College World Series, but ultimately failed to advance to its first championship series.
After defeating New England College in the Super Regional bracket and advancing to the eight-team field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Beacons (37-14) started pool play 2-0 for the first time in history. However, UMB dropped consecutive 8-4 decision to Chapman University (42-14) Sunday and Monday and were eliminated.
“This was such a fun group that just put us on a different stratosphere,” said 15-year UMass-Boston coach Brendan Eygabroat. “The way that they’ve competed has been great.”
Minus their coach, who stepped away briefly after his brother suffered a heart attack, the Beacons swept through the Little East Tournament and the NCAA Regional.
“They’ve helped me through a tough time,” said Eygabroat. “I had to miss some time and the boys just kept it going. Sometimes life gets in the way of high-powered D3 baseball, and these guys just made a tough time really enjoyable for me.”
On Saturday, the Beacons beat Chapman, 10-6, as Quincy’s Eddie Riley became the first Beacon to hit multiple doubles in a CWS game. Riley and Beverly’s Nick Cotraro became the second and third players in program history with three hits in a CWS game.
Riley started Monday’s game with a two-run homer in the first inning to give UMass Boston a 2-0 lead. But Chapman rallied for two runs in the bottom of the second inning and tacked on three in both the fourth and fifth innings.
“I think early in the tournament we started falling behind, so getting off to a hot start was definitely huge for us,” said Riley. “I just got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”
Chapman will face Birmingham-Southern (42-13) in a best-of-three series for the national championship beginning Tuesday.
Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dan Shulman also contributed.