With All-Around Effort, UMass Cruises Past Hartford
March 31, 2011
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Senior Matt Gedman and sophomore Rich Graef combined for nine hits and sophomore Dennis Torres tossed six shutout innings, propelling the UMass baseball team to a 15-0 win over Hartford at Fiondella Field on Thursday afternoon. With the victory, the Minutemen improve to 7-10 on the year, while the Hawks are now 1-17-1 following the setback.
UMass began the game with a two-run first inning as Graef led off the contest with a double to right center and scored on an error. After Gedman hustled out an infield single and senior Peter Copa drew a walk, junior Tom Conley knocked in senior Eric Fredette with a single to center.
The Minutemen were held off the board in the second and third innings, but managed to score in five of their final six turns at bat, beginning with an RBI single by Graef in the fourth that plated freshman Nik Campero. UMass then exploded for three in each of the next two innings. In his return to his hometown, freshman Nick Sanford drove in two runs with a single in the fifth and Copa hit his fifth home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run shot to left.
With an RBI triple from Gedman, who went on to score on a ground ball, the Minutemen tacked on two more in the eighth before finishing off with a four-run ninth.
Not needing the run support provided by the offense, Torres set the tone for the UMass pitching staff by hurling six shutout innings and scattering four hits and four walks, while striking out six en-route to the win (2-2). Senior Charlie Benson and sophomore Ron Wallace completed the shutout by letting up just one hit in remaining three innings. Anthony Mannuccia started on the mound for Hartford and took the loss (1-3) as he allowed six runs, two earned, on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 4.1 innings on the hill.
Gedman matched his career high at the plate for the second time this season, batting 5-for-6 with three RBI and four runs scored. Graef had a career-day at the plate as well, finishing 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Sanford went 3-for-4 at the plate in his first career start, drove in two and scored once, while Copa collected three RBI.
UMass will be back in action this Saturday, Apr. 2, when the squad will play two games at Fordham, first taking on the Rams and then facing Albany in the second half of the doubleheader, which is set to begin at noon.