Dayton Nips UMass Baseball 6-5 In Home Opener
April 4, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass baseball was unable to hold off a late-inning rally by Dayton, falling 6-5 in the team's home opener at Earl Lorden Field on Friday afternoon. Following the loss, the Minutemen sit at 3-18 overall, 2-5 in the Atlantic 10, while the Flyers improve to 11-16 on the season and 4-3 in conference play.
Dayton posted the first two runs of the day in the top of the first. Robby Sunderman led off the contest with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a ground ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Harris. The next batter, Ryan Berry homered to left for the Flyers' second run.
The Minutemen later pulled in front with a three-run fifth. Walks to sophomore Vinny Scifo and senior Nick Sanford, with a bunt single by redshirt junior Kyle Adie sandwiched in between, loaded the bases for senior Nik Campero with one out. Campero drove an RBI single through the left side to bring in Scifo and chase Dayton starter Joe Wahl from the game. Then with two away, back-to-back singles to left by freshman Mike Geannelis and Walsh gave UMass a 4-2 lead.
In their next trip to the plate, the Minutemen pushed their advantage to 5-2. Kellen Pagel dropped a leadoff single into center, went to second on a sacrifice and scored on an errant throw by Dayton catcher Kuris Duggan that sailed into centerfield.
However, the Flyers rallied with two-run innings in the eighth and ninth. Sunderman opened up the top of the eighth with a single to center and later scored on an error. Harris, who reached in a fielder's choice, stole second and came in on a single to right by Berry.
Then in the ninth, Dayton proceeded to tie the score at 5-5, and pushed across the winning run. Greg Rhude singled to right to open up the frame, went to second on a ground ball and to third on a single to center by Sunderman, setting up a sacrifice fly by Mark Podlas. An RBI single down the right field line by Harris brought in Sunderman and put the Flyers on top, 6-5.
Walsh worked an inning of relief for UMass and took the loss (1-3) as he allowed two runs on three hits and struck out one. Bryce Lahrman threw 3.2 innings out of the bullpen for Dayton and picked up the win (2-1). Lahrman let up one run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Nate Harris pitched a hitless ninth and earned the save (3), while walking one and striking out one.
Seven Minutemen combined for the squad's 10 hits with Adie leading the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and one run scored. Walsh contributed multiple hits, as well, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
For the Flyers, Sunderman hit 3-for-5 and scored three times, while Rhude went 3-for-4 and Harris and Berry knocked in two apiece.
The teams will be back in action tomorrow, April 5, with game two of the weekend series set for a 1 p.m. start.