Minutemen Upend Saint Louis 12-0 To Win Series
April 22, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The UMass baseball team exploded for a season-high 12 runs on 17 hits and rode another dominant pitching performance by senior Joe Popielarczyk to a 12-0 shutout victory over Saint Louis on Sunday afternoon at Billikens Sports Center. With the win, the Minutemen (14-14) take the series and have already equaled their 2011 total in conference victories, now a 8-4 in Atlantic 10 play. SLU drops to 26-13 overall and 8-7 in the A-10.
UMass set the tone by sending 11 to the plate in the top of the first and putting up six runs on six hits. Sophomore Kyle Adie, senior Tom Conley and sophomore Nik Campero all drove in runs with three of the Minutemen's four doubles in the frame. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Cusick led off the contest with a double and had an RBI single to center in his second trip to the plate. Junior Rich Graef picked up an RBI, as well, with a bunt single.
Junior Anthony Serino doubled and scored on a passed ball in the second. Then in the third, Cusick plated Graef with a double to left center, his third hit in as many at bats.
After being held off the board in the fourth, UMass increased its lead to 10-0 with runs in the fifth and the sixth courtesy of a solo home run by sophomore Dylan Begin and an RBI single by Campero that brought in Conley.
The Minutemen capped off the scoring with a two-run ninth. With the Minutemen's seventh double of the afternoon, Begin drove in Campero and later came home on a ground ball by Graef.
Popielarczyk moved to 4-0 on the season after throwing 6.2 shutout innings in the winning effort for UMass. He scattered seven hits, all singles, and struck out eight, while walking just one. Sophomore Aaron Plunkett completed the shutout with 2.1 hitless innings of relief.
Damian Rivera did not record an out and took the loss (3-4) for Saint Louis. He allowed four runs on three hits and walked one.
Cusick led six Minutemen with multi-hit efforts, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Conley finished 3-for-6 at the plate, drove in two and scored twice.
For the Billikens, Mike Levine (2-for-5) and Alec Sole (2-for-3) combined for four of the team's seven hits.
UMass returns home to Amherst for its next four, beginning with a 3 p.m. contest vs. Maine on Wednesday, Apr. 25.