Win Streak To Three As Baseball Downs CCSU, 9-5
April 16, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Eight Minutemen combined for a season-high 17 hits as the UMass baseball team pushed its winning streak to three, downing Central Connecticut, 9-5 on Tuesday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. Following the victory, the Minutemen improve to 8-18 overall, while the Blue Devils drop to 15-16.
UMass wasted no time getting out in front as the squad scored four in the bottom of the first to build a 4-0 lead. Junior Rob McLam drove in senior Rich Graef for the first run of the day with a double to left center, extending his reached base streak to 16 straight games. Redshirt sophomore Adam Picard followed with a single up the middle to knock in McLam. Then, following double by junior Dylan Begin and a pair of two-out walks to juniors Nik Campero and Kellen Pagel, freshman John Jennings dropped a two-run single into left that brought the advantage to four.
CCSU managed to tie the score, however, capitalizing on three errors by the Minutemen over the course of the fourth and fifth innings. Dominic Severino singled and scored on an error in the fourth and, following a two-out solo home run by Tyler McIntyre the next inning, Severino came across for another unearned run on an RBI single to left center by Josh Ingham. Mike Washburn, who reached with a walk, scored on an error on the play as well to knot things up at 4-4.
The Minutemen responded in the bottom half of the fifth by climbing back on top, 5-4. Campero, the leadoff batter, was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a balk and went to third on a single by Pagel, setting up a sacrifice fly by Jennings.
In their next turn at bat the Blue Devils pulled level with UMass once more, though. Severino drew a bases loaded walk with two outs that forced in Jeff Osak.
UMass regained the one-run advantage in the bottom of the seventh courtesy of another sacrifice fly by Jennings to plate Campero, who began the inning with an infield single.
Begin then provided the Minutemen with some insurance runs in the eighth as he ripped a bases-clearing triple to deep center that scored redshirt junior Ryan Cusick, Graef and McLam.
Sophomore Dan Stoops, who pitched UMass out of a bases loaded, one out, jam in the seventh, worked 2.2 innings of hitless relief and struck out two en route to the victory (1-1). CCSU reliever Michael Pastore took the loss (0-1) as he allowed two runs on three hits with one walk over 2.1 innings on the mound.
Graef, one of five Minutemen to register multiple hits in the contest, finished the day 4-for-5 with two runs scored. Cusick and Begin were both 3-for-5 at the plate each with a run, while Begin drove in three, as well. Jennings contributed a game-high four RBI and Campero scored three.
UMass will close out its homestand tomorrow afternoon, Apr. 17, at 3 p.m. against Hartford.