Minutemen Hang On To Beat Temple, 13-10
March 23, 2007
PHILADELPHIA- The Minutemen (3-6, 1-0) opened up the Atlantic 10 portion of the 2007 schedule with a 13-10 win over the Temple Owls (5-12, 0-1) today. The win marked the first time UMass has won its A-10 opener since Coach Mike Stone's crew beat La Salle in Bradenton, Fla. 5-3 on March 14, 2000. The game was a low scoring affair until the offenses woke up and combined for 18 runs in the final two innings. Senior Chris Lloyd (North Adams, Mass.) gave UMass its longest outing by a starter and was the winning pitcher. Junior Ryan Franczek (Chicopee, Mass.) picked up three hits in four at bats, while junior Jim Cassidy (Medway, Mass.) went two for four with four RBI.
UMass opened the game's scoring in the top of the second inning when they tagged Temple starter Asrhwin Asjes for a run. With one out, senior centerfielder Bill Rankin (Willington, Conn.) pulled a 1-2 offering down the right field line and motored into second for a double. Jim Macdonald (Cheshire, Conn.) would follow with a ground out to third base. The leftfielder Cassidy extended his hitting streak to six games with a single up the middle, which scored Rankin from second. Cassidy was thrown out after Rankin scored trying to advance on the throw home.
Temple would get to UMass ace Chris Lloyd and tie to the score at one in the bottom of the third. After retiring the number nine hitter for the first out, Lloyd yielded a double to Stan Orzechowski, putting an Owl in scoring position for the second straight inning. Shortstop Ryan Weber stepped to the plate and knocked the second pitch he saw into centerfield, scoring Orzechowski for the first Temple run.
In the next half inning, the Minutemen continued to chip away at Asjes. Senior first baseman Bryan Adamski (South Deerfield, Mass.) forced a five pitch walk and advanced to second when Bryan Garrity (Peabody, Mass.) dropped a sacrifice bunt. After Rankin popped out for the second out, Adamski scored when MacDonald singled to right field. MacDonald advanced to second on the throw home but was stranded when Cassidy ended the inning with a ground out to third.
The Minutemen would pad the lead in the next inning, adding two insurance runs. For the second straight inning, UMass' lead-off hitter reached base on a walk, as Franczek earned a free pass. The next batter, Travis Munsey (Durham, N.H), reached first on a fielder's choice back to the pitcher. With one out, Lou Proietti (Hamilton, Ont.) grounded to third base and looked to be out until the throw sailed wide, allowing Proietti to reach. Munsey came around to score on the play and Proietti reached third on the error. The next batter, Adam Tempesta (Brockton, Mass.), grounded out to the shortstop and drove Proietti home, extending the lead to 4-0.
The UMass offense struck again in the top of the eighth. After Tempesta flied out to right, Adamski, the A-10's leading hitter picked up a single to center field and then stole second to move into scoring position. Adamski advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch with Garrity at the plate. The UMass backstop followed with an infield single to the shortstop to score Adamski. The fourth run of the day finally chased Temple starter Asjes from the ballgame and capped UMass' scoring.
However, Temple would not go lightly and the Owls struck back in its half of the eighth inning. Lloyd recorded an out on his first pitch but then seemed to tire. He proceeded to allow three straight hits: singles to Orzechowski and Weber and an RBI double to Sean Barksdale. With two runners on and two runs in, Lloyd induced a groundout to Tempesta, which drove in Weber from third to bring Temple closer.
After surrendering three runs, the Minutemen appeared to blow the doors open in the top of the ninth, hanging eight more runs on the Owls. After a lead-off line out by Cassidy, Franczek got the rally started with a double to right center field. Munsey then grounded out to third, advancing Franczek one base. Following a Proietti walk, Tempesta hit an RBI single to third, scoring Franczek and moving Proietti up. Adamski would then force a second five pitch walk to fill the bases with Minutemen. With the bases loaded, Temple pitcher Kyle Monahan lost his control and threw three consecutive wild pitches, scoring Proietti and Tempesta. Adamski also advanced to third on the wild pitches. Rob Chamra relieved Monahan, but fared little better as he beaned Garrity on his fifth pitch. With runners situated on the corners, Rankin came through with an RBI double to left field, to put two runners in scoring position. Chamra then walked MacDonald to load the bases before Cassidy knocked a bases clearing double down the left field line. UMass tacked on another run when Franczek, the man who started the scoring in the inning, had a base knocked up the middle to score Cassidy. Franczek would advance to second on the third Temple wild pitch of the inning, but the Minutemen were unable to capitalize as Proietti ended the inning two batters later with a ground out to third.
Facing a 10 run deficit, Temple strung together a rally of its own, but came up short. Lloyd returned for his ninth inning of work but ran out of gas. He allowed a lead-off walk to Jamie Abercrombie and an ensuing double to Matt Heltz. The two runners crossed home plate after a second straight Temple double, this time by Carmen Del Mastro. Following the two run double, Coach Stone came out and took the ball from Lloyd, but not before congratulating his starter on a fantastic performance. Sophomore Mitchell Eilenberg (Brooklyn, N.Y.) trotted out from the bullpen to take the ball in relief of Lloyd. Eilenberg retired the first batter he faced before hitting Orzechowski on a 3-1 pitch. After striking out Weber, Eilenberg surrendered an RBI single up the middle. The right-hander then struck out Kelch, but the batter reached on the play as the third strike was a wild pitch. Instead of ending the game, the strikeout gave the Owls new life. With the bases loaded, first basemen Lenny DelGrippo doubled down the left field line knocking in two to run the score to 13-5. Temple then hit a second straight two RBI double to close the gap to six runs. The Owl offense was finally quelled when Aaron Smith (Westfield, Mass.) struck out Heltz and earned his first save of the season.
The eight run eighth inning marked the largest offensive output by the "UMass Nine" in any inning this year. It was also the first time that the Minutemen batted around.
Lost in the offensive output during combined 15 run ninth inning, was Lloyd's outing, the longest of the season for any Minuteman starter. The veteran hurler surrendered ten hits over eight plus innings. For most of the game, he cruised through the Temple lineup until losing steam in the ninth inning. The senior had yielded three runs over eight innings until he returned to the hill in the ninth and surrendered three more. The win was his first of the year.
UMass and Temple will square off again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Temple's Skip Wilson Field. Fans can follow the game using Gametracker via UMassAthletics.com
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