St. Joe's Outlasts Baseball In 12 Innings, 7-4
April 26, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Despite a career-high 13 strikeouts from starter Andrew Grant, the UMass baseball team fell in 12 innings to Saint Joseph's 7-4, on Friday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. The Minutemen are now 9-23 overall and 3-10 in the Atlantic 10 following the setback, while the Hawks move to 21-19 on the year and 8-5 in conference play.
Saint Joseph's capitalized on a UMass error to score two in the top of the first. Anthony Cirillo struck out to open the contest, but reached on a passed ball and Mike Muha worked a one-out walk. Then with two away, a muffed fly ball allowed both runs to score.
The Minutemen halved their deficit in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Rob McLam legged out an infield single and went to third on an error. The next batter, junior Dylan Begin, drove him in with a single to center.
UMass added another in the second to tie the score at 2-2. Sophomore Jeff Cavanaro drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed over to second, and redshirt junior Ryan Cusick plated him with a double to right center.
The Hawks went back on top in the fourth as Chris Hueth sent a double down the left field line to open up the frame, went to third on a single by Greg Kumpel, and scored on a wild pitch. Hueth later increased Saint Joseph's' lead to 4-2 with a solo home run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, though, the Minutemen pulled level once more, scoring the pair of runs that ultimately forced extra innings. Cusick started the rally with his second double of the game and went to third on a throw home as freshman Vinny Scifo was out at the plate after attempting to score from first. Following a two-out walk to senior Rich Graef, back-to-back RBI singles by McLam and redshirt sophomore Adam Picard tied the score at 4-4.
Saint Joseph's eventually broke up the deadlock in the top of the 12th. A double by Muha, a hit-by-pitch and a walk loaded the bases for Collin Forgey, who drove in two with a double to center. Hueth then scored on an error for the squad's seventh and final run.
Grant threw 7.2 innings and scattered three hits, allowing four runs, two earned and walked five in addition to his 13 Ks and did not factor into the decision. Reliever Aaron Plunkett took the loss (0-3) as he surrendered two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 3.1 innings on the mound. Lansing Veeder collected the win (1-0) for the Hawks after tossing three perfect innings of relief and striking out two. Jimmy Yacabonis pitched a hitless bottom of the 12th and earned the save (6).
Cusick (2-for-5), McLam (2-for-6) and Scifo (2-for-4) combined for six of UMass' nine hits in the contest. Hueth went 2-for-4 for Saint Joseph's, scored three and drove in one.
The teams will be back in action on Saturday, Apr. 27, for game two of the weekend series at 1 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field.