Baseball Drops Another Extra Inning Heartbraker To Richmond, 12-11
March 21, 2009
RICHMOND, Va. - The UMass baseball team overcame a large deficit early on, but for a second straight day it was Richmond who came out on top in extra innings, 12-11, on Saturday afternoon at Pitt Field. Following the 13-inning setback, the Minutemen are now 4-9 on the season and 0-2 in the Atlantic 10, while the Spiders improve to 11-4, 2-0 in conference action.
UMass began the game in a five-run hole after Richmond managed the runs on just three hits in the first inning. Adam McConnell led off with a triple and Mike Mergenthaller brought him in with a sacrifice fly. With two away in the frame, a single, sandwiched in between a pair of walks, loaded the bases for Matt Zink who blasted a grand slam to left center, bringing the score to 5-0.
The Minutemen were not down for long, however, as the squad put up seven in their next turn at-bat. Three straight singles resulted in the team's first run as senior Jim Macdonald plated junior Brian Baudinet with a base hit to right. Freshman Tom Conley picked up the next RBI, drawing a bases loaded walk, followed by an RBI groundout by senior Sam Boone. Following a two-out walk to junior Austin Weymouth that loaded the bases, senior Adam Tempesta gave UMass the lead, 7-5, belting his first career grand slam.
With the help of two homeruns by Cameron Brown, the Spiders climbed back in front, 9-7. Brown hit a solo shot in the bottom of the second and, after Victor Croglio reached with a leadoff single in the fourth and scored on an error for the team's seventh run, Brown hit a two-run homer to give Richmond the lead.
The Minutemen posted pairs of runs in both the sixth and the seventh to leapfrog Richmond and go up, 11-9. Macdonald reached on an error to begin the sixth, setting up a two-run homerun by sophomore Peter Copa that tied the score at nine. The following inning, Macdonald drove in Weymouth and Baudinet with a two-out single to right.
However in the bottom of the seventh, the Spiders knotted the score at 11 with a two-run double by pinch hitter Phil Ruzbarsky that plated Chris Cowell and Evan Stehle.
Neither side would manage to put another run on the board until Stehle poked an RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the 13th to win the game for Richmond.
Junior Bryan Leigh pitched six innings out of the bullpen and took the loss (0-3). He allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Billy Barber collected the win (2-0) for the Spiders after retiring all three Minutemen he faced in one inning of work.
Tempesta had a team-best four RBI for UMass, while Baudinet paced the offense with a 3-for-5 showing at the plate and scored twice. Macdonald went 2-for-5 at the dish with three RBI and two runs scored, while Weymouth and Copa each scored two.
For Richmond, McConnell led the way with four of the teams 12 hits (4-for-7) and scored three, Brown hit 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored and Zink drove in four.
The teams will close out the series tomorrow afternoon, Mar. 22, at noon on Pitt Field.
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