Five-Run 7th Helps Baseball Down St. Joe's 10-4
April 27, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Four extra base hits, including junior Dylan Begin's team-leading fourth home run of the year helped lift the UMass baseball team to a 10-4 win over Saint Joseph's at Earl Lorden Field on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, the Minutemen improve to 10-23 overall and 4-10 in the Atlantic 10 with an 8-3 record at home, while the Hawks fall to 21-20 overall and 8-6 in conference play.
UMass began the contest with a 1-0 lead after redshirt junior Ryan Cusick led off the bottom of the second with a double to left, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on an RBI groundout by junior Nik Campero.
However, Saint Joseph's promptly tied the score at 1-1 with a run in the top of the third. Lansing Veeder doubled to right center, went to second on a single up the middle from Anthony Cirillo and came in on a fielder's choice ground ball by Quinn Renner.
The Minutemen responded, though, by capitalizing on several miscues by the Hawks in their next turn at bat. Freshman John Jennings and Cusick both reached with singles, while a pair of errors extended the inning. Jennings crossed the plate on a passed ball and Cusick came in when junior Rob McLam reached on an error. Redshirt sophomore Adam Picard then plated senior Rich Graef with a single through the left side to push UMass' lead to 4-1.
Saint Joseph's trimmed the deficit to 4-3 after converting leadoff singles into runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Greg Kumpel knocked in Mike Muha with a single through the left side in the fourth and Muha's single to center in the fifth drove in Collin Forgey.
However, that would be as close as the Hawks would get to overtaking UMass as the Minutemen broke the game open with a five-run seventh. A single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases for Picard, who ripped a three-run double down the left field line. Begin then followed with a two-run homer to left to expand the advantage to 9-3.
UMass added its 10th and final run in the bottom of the eighth. Freshman Vinny Scifo drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a RBI double off the bat of McLam.
Saint Joseph's completed the scoring with Kumple's double that drove in Muha in the top of the ninth.
Sophomore Conor LeBlanc struck out a season-high six batters en route to the win (1-4) and went 7.2 innings allowing three runs on 10 hits and walked one. Jordan Carter took the loss (3-3) for the Hawks after surrendering eight runs, five earned, on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Picard, Begin and McLam combined for eight of UMass' nine RBI on the day, led by Picard's four. He finished a team-best 3-for-4 on the day with two doubles and scored twice. McLam and Begin contributed two RBI apiece, while Graef and Scifo each scored a pair.
Kumpel went 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead the offense for Saint Joseph's and Muha was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The teams will play the rubber game of the weekend series tomorrow, Apr. 28, at noon on Earl Lorden Field. The contest will be televised locally on CBS 3 Now.
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