UMass Baseball Wins 10-Inning Thriller Over UConn, 19-18
April 17, 2002
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts baseball team scored single runs in the ninth and 10th innings to claim an exhilarating 19-18 victory over Connecticut here at Earl Lorden Field on Wednesday afternoon. Senior third baseman Aaron Senez (Springfield, Mass.) drove in senior Connell Clark (Springfield, Mass.) on a squeeze play in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure the win for the Minutemen. With the victory, UMass improves its record to 13-17 on the season, while UConn falls to 16-15 on the year.
Connecticut scored a pair of runs in the first inning off Massachusetts starter Mike Crane (Braintree, Mass.) and added three more on a Brett Burnham three-run home run in the second, but the Minutemen answered with three runs on three hits to make the score 5-3 after two innings.
UConn added four runs in the top of the third to make the score 9-3, but UMass scored four in the bottom of the frame to keep the margin at two runs. After Tim Klett (Chicopee, Mass.) walked to lead off the inning, junior first baseman Jeff Altieri (Whitinsville, Mass.) hit his second of three doubles to move Klett to third base. Sophomore second baseman Adam Stojanowski (West Roxbury, Mass.) then singled Klett home and moved Altieri to third. Junior catcher Tom Ellerbrook (Northampton, Mass.) then doubled home Altieri to make the score 9-5. Clark then followed with an RBI bunt basehit that scored Stojanowski and moved Ellerbrook to third. Ellerbrook then scored on a wild pitch to narrow the UConn lead to 9-7 after three innings.
After the Huskies added a run in the top of the fourth, UMass tied the game at 10-10 with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Minutemen scored two runs on sacrifice flies by Derrick Durepo (Ware, Mass.) and Mike Kulak (Bristol, Conn.). The third run came on an error by UConn catcher Mike Leonard that allowed Clark to score from third.
In the top of the sixth, Connecticut scored eight runs off two UMass pitchers before freshman Neil Scheller (Westfield, Mass.) got the final out of the inning. UConn homered twice in the inning, as Burnham blasted his second of day, a grand slam over the rightfield fence, and Leonard hit a towering two-run shot to right-center.
Down 18-10, UMass scored seven times in the bottom of the sixth to cut the UConn lead to one. After Klett reached on an error, shortstop Cullan Maumus (New Orleans, La.) was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move up a base, and Altieri followed with his third double of the day to drive in two runs. Stojanowski, Ellerbrook and Clark all singled to load the bases, and Durepo doubled down the left field line to make the score 18-16. Kulak then followed with his second sacrifice fly of the afternoon to score Durepo and cut UConn's lead to 18-17.
Scheller then quieted the Husky bats, retiring 12 of the 14 batters he faced en route to his first win of the season. Of the two baserunners he allowed, Scheller walked one and allowed one hit. He also picked off a runner at first base.
UMass tied the game in the ninth, as Stojanowski singled home Klett to force the contest to extra innings. It was Stojanowski's fifth-hit of the game, and his fourth RBI.
UMass will host Temple this weekend in a three-game Atlantic 10 series. The Owls currently stand in second place in the A-10 East with a 5-7 record, a game better than UMass at 4-8.