Popielarczyk Pitches UMass Past Fordham, 3-1
March 25, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. - Behind senior Joe Popielarczyk's stellar complete game effort on the mound, the UMass baseball team defeated Fordham 3-1 on Sunday afternoon to take the weekend series from the Rams (8-16, 1-2 A-10), 2-1. Following the win, the Minutemen move to 4-7 on the year, 2-1 in conference play.
After Fordham starter Joseph Charest retired the first 14 UMass batters he faced in order, sophomore Alex Tuneski came through with the Minutemen's first hit of the afternoon, an infield single in the top of the fifth.
UMass got on the board the following inning. The Minutemen loaded the bases courtesy of infield singles by sophomores Nick Sanford and Rob McLam and a walk by junior Anthony Serino, setting up a two-out walk to senior Tom Conley to force in a run.
In the top of the seventh, UMass capitalized on an error that allowed the leadoff hitter, Tuneski to reach. The next batter, Kyle Adie, stepped to the plate and ripped a triple through the right side of the infield with the Rams' defense anticipating a bunt. Adie scored the Minutemen's second run of the frame with one out on an RBI single by Rich Graef.
Limited to just three hits and only one runner to third base through eight innings of play, Fordham attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth. Three straight singles to begin the frame broke up the shutout with Stephen McSherry driving in Tim Swatek. That was all the Rams could manage off of Popielarczyk, though, as he induced a game-ending double play ball off the bat of pinch hitter Brendan Maghini.
Popielarcyzk improved to 2-0 on the season with his first career complete game and struck out a career-high 10, while walking four. He allowed seven hits in the contest, all singles.
Charest took the loss (1-5) for Fordham as he let up three runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in eight innings on the hill.
McLam, Tuneski, Adie, Sanford and Graef each had one hit apiece for UMass. Swatek and Mike Mauri both hit 2-for-4 for the Rams.
The Minutemen will be back in action on Tuesday, Mar. 27, for the team's home opener on Earl Lorden Field vs. Holy Cross at 3 p.m.