Pagel's Home Run Helps Lift UMass Over La Salle, 8-6
March 22, 2014
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Senior Kellen Pagel's first career home run, a three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth, helped lift UMass baseball to an 8-6 win over La Salle on Saturday afternoon at Hank DeVincent Field. With the victory, the Minutemen improve to 2-0 in the Atlantic 10, 3-12 overall, while the Explorers fall to 3-18 and 0-2 in conference action.
La Salle put a pair of runs on the board with just one hit in the top of the first. George Smith Jr. doubled with one out and moved to third on an error before scoring on a sacrifice fly. Justin Korenblatt drew a walk, stole second and came home on an error for the Explorers' second run.
UMass climbed on top, 3-2, in the bottom of the second. Sophomore John Jennings sent a double into right center, while walks to Pagel and sophomore Vinny Scifo loaded the bases for freshman Dylan Morris. Morris plated Jennings and Pagel with an RBI single that also sent Scifo to third. Scifo then came in on a fielder's choice ground ball with senior Nick Sanford collecting an RBI on the play.
The Explorers promptly tied the score, though, in their next trip to the plate. Kevin Baron drove a leadoff double down the right field line and later crossed the plate on an error.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Minutemen regained the lead, 5-3. After Sanford and redshirt junior Adam Picard both reached via hit by pitches and moved second and third on a balk, back-to-back RBI singles by seniors Dylan Begin and Nik Campero brought them home.
La Salle tied things up once more in the top of the fifth. Smith Jr. homered to left with one away and the next batter, Korenblatt, doubled to right to set up a two-out RBI single by Kevin Conroy.
Then in the bottom of the sixth, Campero reached on a fielder's choice and Jennings singled to left before Pagel homered to right center to give UMass an 8-5 advantage.
The Explorers took one of the runs back in the seventh as Conroy was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run, but sophomore Brandon Walsh struck out Ryan Welling and Collin McGowan to work out of the jam.
Walsh tossed 3.1 innings of relief and earned the win (1-2) as he allowed one run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Senior DJ Jauss pitched a scoreless ninth, letting up one hit and striking out one to collect the save (1).
Andrew Craig threw one inning out of the bullpen for La Salle and took the loss (0-1). He allowed three runs on three hits and struck out one.
Six Minutemen combined for nine hits on the afternoon, paced by Morris (2-for-4), Jennings (2-for-5) and Begin (2-for-5). Pagel and Morris both contributed multiple RBI with three and two, respectively. Pagel scored twice, as well.
Smith Jr. led the Explorers at the plate with a 3-for-5 afternoon, one RBI and two runs scored. Conroy finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.
UMass and La Salle will close out their weekend series tomorrow, March 23, with game three set for a Noon start.