Minutemen Down Eastern Kentucky 7-4
March 20, 2003
BRADENTON, Fla. - Junior shortstop Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.) went two for three with a triple, two runs batted in and two runs scored, to lead the University of Massachusetts baseball team to a 7-4 victory over Eastern Kentucky in a seven inning game at Academy Park. The Minutemen improve to 2-5 overall this season with the victory, while Eastern Kentucky falls to 5-9 on the year with the loss.
UMass jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Jason Twomley (Fitchburg, Mass.) led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Athas. Senior designated hitter Chris Morgan (Cranston, R.I.) followed with an single, then senior first baseman Jeff Altieri (Whitinsville, Mass.) delivered an RBI single to score Athas. Following a sacrifice bunt, junior third baseman Adam Stojanowski (West Roxbury, Mass.) singled to drive in Morgan. Alteiri would then score the final run of the inning, when he and Stojanowski executed a double steal.
The score remained 4-0 until the top of the fifth inning, when the Colonels responded with four runs to tie the score. Outfielder Stephen Carter hit a two-run homer, and third baseman Neil Sellers added a two-run single. But the Minutemen came right back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, to regain the lead for good. Senior catcher Tom Ellerbrook (Northampton, Mass.) singled and scored on an RBI triple by Athas, then Morgan delivered an RBI single to knock in the second run.
UMass concluded the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the sixth, when freshman pinch runner Kristian Molloy (Hillsborough, N.J.) crossed the plate as part of a double steal attempt.
Sophomore righthander Mike Crane (Braintree, Mass.) earned his first win of the season, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings, while striking out four. Sophomore lefthander Scott Ratliff (Helendale, Calif.) picked up the save, striking out two in two scoreless innings of work.
UMass returns to action on Saturday, March 22, when it opens Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader at Duquesne.
Massachusetts 7, Eastern Kentucky 4 R H E Eastern Kentucky (5-9) 000 040 0 - 4 7 0 Massachusetts (2-5) 400 021 X - 7 9 0 EKU: Chris Clark, Greg Harper (5), Joe Pickarski (6) and Keith Bolger. UM: Mike Crane, Scott Ratliff (6) and Tom Ellerbrook. 2B: None. 3B: Mike Athas (UM). HR: Stephen Carter (EKU). Win: Mike Crane (1-0). Loss: Greg Harper (0-1). Save: Scott Ratliff (1).