UMass Baseball Drops Opener At #18 UCF, 16-4
March 10, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. - The UMass baseball team scored four runs on eight hits, but could not recover from allowing seven in the in the bottom of the first, dropping the 2012 season opener at nationally-ranked #18 UCF on Friday night, 16-4. Following the setback, the Minutemen are 0-1 to start the season, while the Knights improve to 11-4.
UCF capitalized on three walks, a hit batter and two errors in its opening turn at bat, scoring seven times on three hits. Chris Taladay drove in two with a single to center and Alex Friedrich had a two-run double to help the Knights out to a 7-0 lead.
The following inning, Friedrich once again came through with an RBI double to knock in another pair of runs, while D.J. Hicks plated Darnell Sweeney with an RBI single to bring the score to 10-0 in the third.
After a scoreless fourth, UMass got on the board in the top of the fifth. After junior Rich Graef drew a leadoff walk, redshirt sophomore Ryan Cusick doubled to left to bring in the Minutemen's first run. Two more walks were issued to junior Anthony Serino and senior Tom Conley before sophomore Nik Campero drove a single through the right side to score Cusick and Serino, closing the gap to 10-3.
UMass then followed up with another run in the sixth. Graef sent a one-out single into right, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a base hit to right by Serino.
UCF responded by taking three of the runs back in the sixth courtesy of back-to-back home runs by Friedrich and Nick Carrillo. The Knights went on to add two more in the seventh and one in the eighth to bring the final to 16-4.
Senior Glen Misho started on the mound for the Minutemen and took the loss (0-1) after letting up 10 runs, seven earned, on seven hits with three walks and one strikeout. Freshmen Andrew Grant and Dan Stoops both made their collegiate debuts for UMass, tossing two innings and one inning of relief, respectively.
Ben Lively picked up the win (3-0) for UCF as he threw 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with seven walks and six strikeouts.
The Minutemen's Serino had a multi-hit night, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while redshirt freshman Adam Picard was 2-for-5 at the plate. Graef batted 1-for-2 and scored twice and freshman Jeff Cavanaro was 1-for-1, making his UMass debut as a pinch hitter.
Friedrich paced the Knights with a 3-for-4 performance on the night with six RBI and two runs scored. Carrillo drove in three and Taladay added two RBI and scored twice.
Game two between UMass and UCF is slated for Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.