UMass Baseball Holds Off Arizona, 9-8
March 7, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Minutemen (3-2) never put down their bats as they scored in five of the nine innings to squeeze past the Arizona Wildcats (7-5), evening out the weekend series at Jerry Kindall Field. This is the first time the Minutemen have taken down a Pac-10 opponent since 1982 when they beat UCLA. Mitchell Clegg (1-0) got the nod and the win for the Minutemen as he struck out nine in his seven innings pitched, allowing five hits, while junior Mike Gedman (Framingham, Mass.) earned his first save of the season after throwing for just 1/3 inning. Donn Roach (1-2) pitched three innings for the Wildcats letting up five runs on seven hits in the loss. Freshman Tom Conley (Quincy, Mass.) went 3-4 at the plate including two of the game's four doubles while also knocking in three runs for the Minutemen. Jett Bandy had the hot bat for the Wildcats notching two hits, including a homerun, in five at bats, bringing home four runs.
The Minutemen tallied five hits in the first inning, scoring three times. Senior captain Adam Tempesta (Brockton, Mass.) started things off as he brought home Jim Cassidy (Medway, Mass.) on a single to right. Despite a quick double play just after scoring the first run, Brain Baudinet (Watertown, Conn.) and Mike Donato (East Hartford, Conn.) soon filled the bases and were brought home on a Peter Copa (Malden, Mass.) double to right field.
The Minutemen added two more runs in the fourth, the first coming just before a pitching change for the Wildcats as Copa scored on a wild pitch, which also advanced senior Jim Macdonald (Cheshire, Conn.) to third, putting him in position to score after a Wildcat error on the next play. UMass tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth when Conley singled to right, bringing Copa home for the second time in the game. In the bottom of the same inning the Wildcats finally got on the board when Daniel Butler hit a solo shot over the left field wall giving Arizona their first run of the game.
UMass struck again in the seventh putting up two more runs on a single from Macdonald to center and a double from Conley to left, after a pitching change to make the score 8-1, but the Wildcats wouldn't go down without a fight as they scored four runs on two hits in the bottom of the eighth. Bandy hit a three-run homer over the centerfield wall to score Dillon Baird and Bobby Coyle after they both reached on walks. Two batters later, Mike Weldon knocked a single to left field, scoring Codi Harshman to make the score 8-5.
In the final inning, Donato posted what ended up being the winning run for the Minutemen after launching the ball over the left field wall for UMass' only homer of the game. The Wildcats took full advantage of being the home team as they put up three more runs in the bottom of the ninth as Coyle hit a two-run triple to right and scored after Bandy, the next batter, singled to center.
The Minutemen will wrap things up at Jerry Kindall Field tomorrow, March 8 as they will look to finish the weekend series one up on the Wildcats. The game will begin at 3:00 PM.
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