Homers Carry Saint Joe's Past UMass, 10-5
April 28, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team managed to close a four-run gap to one, but a grand slam in the top of the eighth helped Saint Joseph's put the comeback out of reach as the Minutemen fell 10-5 to the Hawks on Sunday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. With the loss, UMass is now 10-24 overall 4-11 in the Atlantic 10, while Saint Joseph's claims the series and improves to 22-20 on the year and 9-6 in conference action.
The Hawks began the scoring by putting up single runs in the second and third to take a 2-0 lead. Anthony Cirillo poked a one-out single through the right side and scored on a double by Quinn Renner to put Saint Joseph's on the board. The following inning, Stefan Kancylarz drew a leadoff walk and, three batters later, Chris Hueth drove him in with an RBI double to left.
A pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth pulled the Minutemen level with the Hawks at 2-2. Junior Rob McLam was hit by a pitch to start off the inning, while redshirt sophomore Adam Picard singled to left. Then with two on and one out, junior Nik Campero and sophomore Jeff Cavanaro knocked in McLam and Picard with back-to-back singles through the infield.
However, Saint Joseph's responded by regaining the advantage with one swing in the squad's next turn at bat. After Brian O'Keefe and Hueth began the fifth with a walk and a double, respectively, Greg Kumple lofted a ball over the fence in left for a three-run homer that brought the score to 5-2.
In the top of the seventh, Cirillo provided the Hawks with their sixth run of the ballgame after sending a one-out double into left and later coming home on an error.
Then in the bottom half of the inning, the Minutemen put together a two-out rally to close the gap to 6-5. Three straight singles with two down off the bats of redshirt junior Ryan Cusick, senior Rich Graef and McLam ultimately led to three UMass runs. On McLam's single to left, an error by Hueth in the outfield allowed Graef to score in addition to Cusick with McLam going to third. McLam came in for UMass' fifth run on a wild pitch, ball four with Picard at the plate.
That was as close as the Minutemen would get, though, to overtaking Saint Joseph's. A single and two walks loaded the bases for O'Keefe who extended the Hawks' lead to 10-5 with his grand slam to left center in the top of the eighth.
Senior Jordan Pace started on the mound for UMass and took the loss (3-5), allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts over four innings. Daniel Thorpe picked up the win (4-6) for Saint Joseph's. He let up four runs, three earned, on 11 hits and struck out seven over 6.2 innings on the hill. Jimmy Yacabonis pitched the remaining 2.2 innings and surrendered an unearned run on one hit, walked two and struck out four to collect the save (7).
Four Minutemen had multi-hit efforts, led by Campero's 3-for-3 day at the plate. McLam went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Cusick was 2-for-5 on the afternoon, his seventh multi-hit game in the last 11 contests.
O'Keefe and Kumpel combined to provide seven of the Hawks' nine RBI with four and three, respectively. Collin Forgey went 3-for-6 with a run scored.
UMass will be back in action tomorrow night, Monday, Apr. 29, when the squad will look to defend its 2012 Beanpot Championship vs. Northeastern at Fenway Park at 5 p.m.