Baseball Takes UAlbany Series With DH Split
April 1, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - On the back of a stellar pitching performance by senior Glen Misho, the UMass baseball secured a weekend series victory over UAlbany with a 5-1 win in game one of the squads' doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. The Great Danes (6-18-1) then took the second of the twinbill, 9-4, leaving the Minutemen at 6-9 on the season.
In the opening contest, redshirt sophomore Ryan Cusick drew a four-pitch walk to begin UMass' half of the first and stole two bases before coming home on an RBI groundout by junior Anthony Serino to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead.
UMass then added another run in the second. Sophomore Nick Sanford was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, moved to second on a bunt single by junior Rich Graef and to third on a sacrifice by Cusick. He then scampered home on another sacrifice bunt by sophomore Rob McLam to push the avantage to 2-0.
With two away in the fifth, UAlbany cut its deficit in half by tallying two of its three hits in the contest. After Misho struck out back-to-back hitters, Nolan Gaige doubled to right and Joey Tracey drove him in with an RBI single.
UMass tacked on its fifth and final run of the contest the following inning as Cusick drilled a one-out triple to center and scored on a sacrifice bunt by McLam.
Misho limited the Great Danes to three hits over seven innings on the mound to earn his first win (1-2) of the season. He struck out seven and walked one in the outing, while sophomore Ryan Lubreski relieved him and threw two shutout frames without allowing a hit.
UAlbany starter Sean Lucas took the loss (1-4) as he let up two runs on two hits with tow walks and two strikeouts in five innings of work.
The Minutemen led early in game two, as well. Senior Tom Conley drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second and was sacrificed over into scoring position before Begin drove him in with a double to the fence in left center.
In the top of the third, though, the Great Danes tied the score at one without registering at hit. Tracey drew a one-out walk and later crossed the plate on an error with two away.
UMass then regained its one-run advantage in its next turn at bat. Graef drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on the same play following an errant throw down the line.
Minutemen starter Joe Popielarczyk held UAlbany hitless through 4.2 innings, but the Great Danes eventually climbed on top in the seventh, registering eight of their 10 hits in the contest over the final three innings. Gordon Madej singled to begin the frame and slid home safely on a fielder's choice to tie the score at 2-2. Following a two-out infield single by Gaige, Pete DiResta drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double to put UAlbany in front, 3-2.
UMass then countered with a pair of its own in the bottom half of the seventh to regain the lead, 4-3. Redshirt freshman Adam Picard and sophomore Kyle Aide started off the inning with back-to-back walks. Picard then scored on an error after Begin legged out a perfectly placed bunt single. Aide crossed the plate when the next batter, Sanford, dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
However, the Great Danes responded by breaking the game open with six runs on five hits in the eighth to bring the score to 9-4. Josh Nethaway capped off the inning for UAlbany with a bases-clearing two-out double.
Sernior Leif Sorenson took the loss (0-2) out of the bullpen for the Minutemen after surrendering four runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout in one inning on the hill. Popielarczyk fanned eight and scattered four hits while allowing three runs, two earned, over 6.2 innings, and walked two.
Travis Wilson tossed one scoreless inning of relief for the Great Danes to earn the win (1-0). He let up two hits and fanned one.
Eight different UMass players tallied hits over the two contests, led by Picard's 6-for-3 afternoon at the plate. Cusick finished the day 2-for-4 with two walks, three runs scored and was 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts.
For UAlbany, Gaige batted 4-for-8 in the doubleheader with three runs scored and an RBI, while Tracy went 3-for-7 with two RBI and scored twice.
The Minutemen continue their homestand tomorrow afternoon, Apr. 2, with a 3 p.m. contest against Connecticut.