WILSON, N.C. -- The UMass Lowell baseball team made a resounding Division 1 debut on Sunday. The River Hawks banged out 17 hits and senior ace Shane Beauchemin struck out nine batters over six innings as UMass Lowell defeated Temple University, 14-3, at Fleming Stadium.
The River Hawks will play a doubleheader against Rider University on Monday.
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning on Sunday, UMass Lowell shook off its gym legs and took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the second. The go-ahead run scored on an RBI double by freshman right fielder Ian Strom of Hopedale.
Leading 3-2 heading into the top of the fourth, the River Hawks scored four runs to pull away from the Owls. Freshman Tyler Noe from Lynnfield and St. John's Prep had a two-run single in the inning.
Beauchemin, who last season went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in Division 2, looked every bit UMass Lowell's ace in his Division 1 debut. Over six innings, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder out of Manchester (N.H.) Memorial allowed three runs on six hits, but walked only one and struck out nine. Senior right-hander Mike Calzetta of Lawrence followed up with three shutout innings of relief (2 hits, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts).
Offensively, junior cleanup hitter Jimmy Ricoy of Lowell went 3-for-4 with two RBI and was on base five times in the victory. Junior shortstop Danny Mendick, a transfer from Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., went 3-for-6 with a double and three RBI in his UMass Lowell debut.
Junior catcher Jacob OKeefe also had three hits. Senior center fielder Geoff DeGroot had two singles, two stolen bases and scored three runs.
UMass Lowell had been scheduled to open the previous weekend with four games in North Carolina. Those games against Monmouth, Michigan State, Wright State and St. Joseph's were canceled due to snow. They will not be made up.
While UMass Lowell excitedly launched its Division 1 era on Sunday, Temple was playing the second game of what may be the school's final season of baseball. In a cost-cutting and gender-equity-compliance move, Temple's board of trustees in December announced that baseball will be one of seven programs dropped this July. That board is meeting again Monday to consider proposals presented by each program to save itself. Temple, which saw four pitchers transfer elsewhere during winter break, opened its season with a 15-8 victory over Rider on Saturday before falling to UMass Lowell on Sunday.