Minutemen Win On The Road vs. Central Connecticut, 11-7
April 24, 2007
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The University of Massachusetts (14-16, 6-9 Atlantic 10) used a two-run sixth inning and a four-run seventh to pull ahead and defeat Central Connecticut State University (15-11, 6-6 Northeast Conference) by a score of 11-7 on Tuesday afternoon. Bill Rankin (Willington, Conn.) led the Minutemen offense, going 3-5 with two runs and two RBI. The senior centerfielder also stole a career-high three bases. Mitchell Eilenberg (Brooklyn, NY; 1-0) came in to relieve starter Rory McDonald (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to earn the victory. The sophomore righthander pitched 4.1 innings, allowing nine hits and four runs.
The Minutemen collected 12 hits and stole seven bases in the game. Lou Proietti (Hamilton, Ont.) and Travis Munsey (Durham, NH) had two hits apiece. Adam Tempesta (Brockton, Mass.) singled and walked to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 30 games.
The Blue Devils were led by Jak Kidd, who went 3-4 and drove in five runs. Adam Piechowski (3-1) pitched six innings and was tagged with the loss.
UMass got its offense going in the top of the second inning. Bryan Garrity (Peabody, Mass.) led with a walk and was bunted over to second by Ryan Franczek (Chicopee, Mass.). Rankin followed that up with a single to left. A wild pitch by Piechowski scored Garrity from third. A Mike Donato (East Hartford, Conn.) double down the rightfield line sent Rankin home for UMass' second run.
Later in the inning, with Donato at third and Proietti at first, the Minutemen successfully executed a double steal that scored Donato to make it a 3-0 game.
Central Connecticut scored their first run in the third when Anthony Scialdone grounded into a double play that scored Sean Salvatore, who had led the inning off with a single.
A Donato RBI ground out scored Rankin, who had doubled and advanced to third on another wild pitch, in the top of the fourth to make it 4-1 in favor of the Minutemen.
The Blue Devils had their big inning in the fourth, when clean-up batter Kidd hit a bases-loaded triple to clear the bases and tie the game at four.
The Minutemen bats would take the lead back for good in the sixth. That is when Rankin continued his big day by shooting a single through the right side that plated Franczek, who had walked, and Adamski, who singled.
Central Connecticut pushed a run across in the bottom half of the sixth, but the Maroon and White came back with an even bigger inning in the seventh. Proietti led things off with a single, advanced on a Jim Cassidy (Medway, Mass.) bunt and a Tempesta single, and scored on a ground out by Adamski. Garrity followed with an RBI single. He would cross the plate later in the inning on a ball off the bat of Rankin that was misplayed. UMass scored their fourth and final run off the inning on another successful first-and-third double steal. This time it was Franczek swiping home.
In the road half of the eighth, back-to-back singles by Proietti and Cassidy gave UMass men at first and third. They would score again on a double steal attempt, this time Cassidy was thrown out at second while Proietti scored UMass' eleventh run.
The Crusaders made the game tighter in their half of the eighth on Kidd's second triple of the game, this time scoring Salvatore and Adam Taha, making it 11-7.
Chris Lloyd came in to pitch a scoreless ninth to ensure the victory for UMass.
The Minutemen travel east on Wednesday to Fenway Park in Boston for the Beanpot consolation game. UMass will be taking on Holy Cross (10-18, 7-7 Patriot League) with first pitch at noon. The Crusaders are replacing Harvard, who will be playing a make-up doubleheader with Yale instead, as directed by the Ivy League. The game will be broadcast on WMUA 91.1 FM and available on Gametracker at UMassathletics.com.
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