UMass Comes From Behind At Fordham For Stone's 600th Win
March 23, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. - Clutch two-out hits in the eighth and ninth helped the UMass baseball team overcome a three-run deficit and rally for a 5-4 victory at Fordham in the squad's Atlantic 10 opener on Friday afternoon at Houlihan Park. The win was head coach Mike Stone's 600th of his UMass tenure as the Minutemen moves to 3-6 on the year (1-0 A-10). Following the setback, the Rams are now 7-15 overall and 0-1 in conference action.
Fordham took a 1-0 lead in the first. Brian Kownacki drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a single to left by Ryan Lee.
UMass leveled the score at one in the top of the third. After the leadoff hitter, redshirt sophomore Ryan Cusick, was hit by a pitch and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Rob McLam, junior Anthony Serino ripped an RBI single back up the middle to bring in the run.
The Rams went back on top in the fourth inning. Lee lofted a double to left center to begin the frame, went to third on an infield single and came in on a sacrifice fly by Mike Mauri.
Then in Fordham's half of the fifth, the squad expanded its advantage to two as Matthew DeSilva legged out an infield single, stole second and scored on a two-out triple to left center by Brian Kownacki.
Later in the bottom of the seventh, the Rams tacked on their fourth of the afternoon. Stephen McSherry lofted a triple to left center to lead off the inning and the next batter, Zach Small, plated him with a single up the middle.
After a quick first out in the top of the eighth, the Minutemen began their rally. Senior Tom Conley fisted a single into left field, while sophomore Dylan Begin followed with a single through the left side. Redshirt freshman Adam Picard was hit by a pitch, while sophomore Nik Campero followed with a bases-loaded walk to force in the first run of the frame that cut the deficit to 4-2. Following a strikeout, Rich Graef drove a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a two-run single that tied the score at four.
Junior Dennis Torres retired the side in order in his final inning of work before UMass managed to plate the winning run in the top of the ninth. With two down, Conley and Begin drew walks, with Begin battling through a 10-pitch at bat. Picard then stepped to the plate and poked a single through the right side to score Conley from second.
That was all the Minutemen needed as senior Leif Sorenson retired the next three batters he faced, striking out one, after surrendering a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his third save of the season. Torres tossed eight innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts to collect the win (1-2).
Reliever Rich Anastasi took the loss (2-3) as he allowed one run on one hit with three walks and one strikeout, throwing 1.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Campero finished the afternoon 2-for-2 with a pair of walks for UMass and an RBI, while Serino batted 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Lee and Tim Swatek both went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, combining for half of Fordham's hit in the contest.
The team will be back in action at Houlihan Park tomorrow afternoon, Mar. 24, for game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.