UMass Comes Up Short At Monmouth, 2-1
March 21, 2012
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The UMass baseball team totaled a season-high 11 hits, but left 13 runners on base, coming up just short in a 2-1 setback at Monmouth on Wednesday afternoon. With the loss, the Minutemen fall to 2-6 on the year, while the Hawks improve to 11-7.
Monmouth scored the first run of the afternoon on two hits in the bottom of the second. Chris Perret lofted a leadoff double into deep center and later crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by Kyle Perry.
Later in the top of the fifth, UMass managed to tie the score at 1-1 with two away. Junior Rich Graef flared a one-out single into left, moved to second on a wild pitch and tagged up and went to third on a fly ball to center. Then, following a walk to sophomore Rob McLam, junior Anthony Serino sent a single through the right side of the infield to bring in Graef.
However, the Hawks regained the lead with an unearned run in their next turn at bat. Owen Stewart reached on a fielder's choice and came around to score after back-to-back two-out singles by Danny Avella and Jake Gronsky.
The Minutemen nearly leveled the score in the top of the seventh, but had the potential tying run in Graef thrown out at the plate on a double to center by Cusick.
UMass had a runner reach third in the eighth and went on to load the bases with two outs in the ninth, but could not manage to push across any additional runs.
Despite allowing only two runs, just one earned, on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 5.0 innings, freshman Tim Cassidy (0-2) took the loss in his first collegiate start. Sophomore Ryan Lubreski and freshman Tim Stoops pitched the remaining three innings without allowing a hit.
Jonathan Shippee picked up the win (1-0) for Monmouth after pitching five innings in his start. He allowed one run on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cusick paced UMass at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double. McLam hit 2-for-3 and walked twice, while Serino batted 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Avilla (2-for-2) and Boyd (2-for-4) combined for four of the Hawks' seven hits on the afternoon.
The Minutemen will be back in action this Friday, Mar. 23, when the squad will open up Atlantic 10 play at Fordham. Game one of the weekend series is set for a 3:30 p.m. start.