Baseball Falls Short In Two Games Against Xavier
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The University of Massachusetts (3-12, 0-2 A-10) dropped a pair of one-run games to Xavier (7-16, 2-3 A-10) by scores of 2-1 and 6-5 this afternoon at Hayden Field. Senior Jason Twomley (Fitchburg, Mass.) provided most of the offensive production for the Minutemen in his first game since March 5, going a combined 5-for-6 in the two games with a pair of home runs, two RBI and three runs.
In game one, Twomley went 3-for-3 and provided all of the hits for UMass while tallying the only run. In the bottom of the first, Twomley singled to center field to lead off the game. He reached second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Bill Rankin (Willington, Conn.) and scored with the help of two Xavier miscues. Pitcher Mike Lucas balked to give Twomley third base, then tossed a wild pitch allowing him to score.
The Minutemen offense was held at bay for the rest of the game. On the mound, junior Matt Torra (Pittsfield, Mass.) allowed only one hit in the first three innings of play.
In the Musketeer fourth, three consecutive hits scored all the runs Xavier would need to seal the win. Colin Salzenstein cracked a single to lead off the inning, and Sean Brewer followed that with a double, advancing Salzenstein to third. Brett Smith knocked a single through the right side of te infield, bringing both runners across the plate for the win.
Mike Lucas threw a complete game for Xavier, allowing three hits and one run. Torra walked nobody and struck out five in the loss.
In game two, Twomley started right where he left off from game one, smashing a leadoff home run over the left-center wall to take a 1-0 advantage. Rankin followed with a single to left. After a fly out and a batter's interference call, freshmen Andy Teutken (Smithfield, R.I.) and Dan Coury (Fall River, Mass.) both managed to reach base on infield singles, loading the bases with two outs. The Minutemen could not capitalize on the opportunity as sophomore Anthony Santos (Chelmsford, Mass.) grounded out to end the threat.
Xavier was able to push five runs across the plate in the bottom of the third. Danny Hayden drew a walk to begin the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Jordan Wolf forced another walk. Brewer singled to right loading the bases, and Brett Smith quickly emptied them with a grand slam over the left field wall. The Musketeers were not done as Drew Roberts followed suit and belted another homer to left, making the score 5-1.
Coury quickly returned the favor and led off the fourth with his first home run of the season which cleared the wall in left.
Xavier wasted no time in getting that run back as it forced one across in the bottom of the fourth. Danny Hayden reached third with a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt followed by a groundout. Jay Johnson singled in Hayden to give Xavier a 6-2 lead.
The Minutemen crossed another run in the top of the fifth when Twomley led off the inning with another homer, his fourth of the season.
Reliever David Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) kept Xavier scoreless the rest of the way and paved the way for a late comeback. In the last frame, freshman Bryan Garrity (Peabody, Mass.) and Twomley drew consecutive walks with one out. Rankin came to the plate and drove a pitch through the right side, loading the bases. Sophomore Bryan Adamski (South Deerfield, Mass.) flew out to left, plating freshman Brent Tarasuik (Lynn, Mass.), who pinch ran for Garrity. With UMass down to its last out, freshman Michael Weiner (Easton, Conn.) singled in Twomley with a base hit to right center. Junior Derrick Durepo (Ware, Mass.) came in to pinch hit with the score at 6-5 and runners on first and third, but he flew out to left field, ending the rally and the game.
The Minutemen lost their sixth straight contest and first to Xavier in team history, but hope to salvage the last game of the series when they play Xavier tomorrow at 12:00 PM.