Temple Bests UMass Baseball, 11-9
April 4, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team battled back from an early 6-0 deficit, but Temple used a three-run ninth to come out on top, 11-9, in the Minutemen's 2009 home opener at Earl Lorden Field. With the setback, UMass is now 6-15 on the season and 1-6 in Atlantic 10 play, while the Owls remain undefeated at 7-0 in the A-10, 12-12 overall.
After two quick scoreless innings opened the contest, Temple managed six two-out runs on six hits and sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the third to build a 6-0 lead.
The large advantage would evaporate, however, as UMass cut its deficit in half with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Redshirt senior Jim Cassidy got things started for the Minutemen by diving to first, hustling out a bunt single for the team's first hit of the day. Senior Adam Tempesta followed up with a double to right center that plated Cassidy and later came in on a sacrifice fly by senior Jim Macdonald for the team's second run. Junior Mike Donato then brought the score to 6-3 with a solo shot to right center, his second homerun of the season.
The Owls took one of the runs back in the top of the fifth. Tony Jusino was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, went to third on a double by Lenny DelGrippo, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jabair Khan.
UMass put up another three runs in its next turn at bat to pull within one at 7-6. Sophomore Peter Copa began the frame with a double and freshman Tom Conley followed with a double of his own to drive in Copa. Conley crossed the plate on a single up the middle by junior Garrett Glashoff and Glashoff came in on a RBI groundout by junior Brian Baudinet.
Temple then increased their advantage to 8-6 with a run in the top of the eighth. Camen Del Mastro knocked a leadoff single up the middle and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jusino.
The Minutemen followed up by taking their first lead of the day, 9-8 in the bottom the inning. Donato reached on an error to start off UMass' trip to the plate and the next batter, junior Mike Gedman, ripped a double to left to send in Donato. Gedman came home on an RBI single by Copa and Cassidy drove in Copa with a sacrifice fly to put the Minutemen on top. After Tempesta sent a double into left center for his 195th career hit, an intentional walk to Baudinet loaded the bases. That would be all for UMass, however, as reliever Matt Blackburn induced a routine ground ball to strand three Minutemen and escape any further damage.
The Owls then responded by rallying for three runs in the top of the ninth. Ben Flanary opened up the frame with a double to left center and Foster Dunigan, who pinch ran for Flanary, crossed the plate for the tying run on an RBI ground ball by Del Mastro. Sean Barksdale dropped an RBI single into center to put Temple back on top, 10-9, with Jamie Abercrombie coming in on the play. Byron McKoy added an insurance run for the Owls with an RBI single that brought home Del Mastro.
Blackburn pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the win (3-0) for Temple. He worked 2.2 innings out of the bullpen and allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Gedman, UMass' fifth pitcher in the contest, took the loss (0-4). He threw the ninth and let up three runs, two earned, on three hits and walked one.
Cassidy, Tempesta and Conley each finished 2-for-3 at the plate to pace a balanced UMass attack that saw all nine hitters log one RBI apiece on the afternoon. Copa hit 2-for-5 and scored two runs, while Donato scored twice, as well.
Lenny DelGrippo was a perfect 3-for-3 to lead the Owls, contributing two RBI and scoring once. Barksdale was 3-for-6, Del Mastro 2-for-6 and McKoy 2-for-4.
The teams will complete the three-game series tomorrow, Sunday, Apr. 5, with a doubleheader beginning at noon on Earl Lorden Field.
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