Minutemen Top La Salle In 10 Innings, 7-6
March 21, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The UMass baseball team erased a 5-1 deficit en route to a 7-6 win over La Salle in 10 innings in the squads' Atlantic 10 opener on Friday afternoon. With the victory, the Minutemen move to 1-0 in conference action, 2-12 overall, while the Explorers fall to 0-1 in the A-10 and 3-17 overall.
La Salle began the contest with a 2-0 lead after converting leadoff extra base hits into runs in both the first and second innings. Back-to-back doubles by Kevin Baron and George Smith Jr. put the Explorers on the board in the first. Then Kevin Conroy opened up the top of the second with a triple and came in on an RBI single to right center by Joey Ravert.
A solo home run by senior Dylan Begin, his second of the season, cut the deficit in half for UMass in the bottom of the second. However, La Salle opened the fourth with four straight hits, two doubles and two singles, to increase its lead to 4-1 and added another with a solo shot to left field by Mark Williams in the top of the fifth.
The Minutemen responded by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the frame to pull within 5-4. With two away, sophomore Vinny Scifo reached on an error and senior Nick Sanford plated him with a double to left center. Redshirt junior Kyle Adie, junior Paul Yanakopulos and freshman Mike Geannelis followed with three straight singles that pushed across UMass' third and fourth runs of the day.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Minutemen tied the score at 5-5. Scifo drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a sacrifice and later came in on a wild pitch.
The Explorers regained the lead in the top of the 10th, 6-5, after loading the bases with no outs. Williams plated Baron with a groundout to give La Salle the lead, but Smith Jr. was thrown out at home trying to score on a wild pitch and senior DJ Jauss struck out Ravert to escape any further damage.
In UMass' half of the 10th, pinch hitter John Jennings dropped a one-out single into right. Then with two away, senior Nik Campero sent a single through the right side. Redshirt junior Adam Picard drove in pinch runner Jon Avallone with a single to right to tie the score and Campero crossed the plate for the winning run on a wild pitch.
Jauss pitched the 10th and earned the win (1-0) for the Minutemen. He did not allow a hit, walked two and struck out one. Shawn O'Neill took the loss (0-5) for La Salle after surrendering two runs on three hits and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning.
In a balanced offensive effort, nine UMass players combined for the team's 10 hits with five individuals each registering RBI. Adie was the lone Minuteman with a multi-hit day, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Wiliams and Ravert both went 2-for-5 at the plate for La Salle and each drove in a pair.
The teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, March 22, at 1 p.m. for game two of the weekend series.