#26 Charlotte Surges Past UMass Baseball, 11-4
April 29, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team began Friday's contest with a 3-0 lead, but errors proved costly in an 11-4 loss to Charlotte at Earl Lorden Field. With the setback, the Minutemen fall to 13-22 on the season, 5-8 in the Atlantic 10, while the first-place 49ers improve to 33-9 overall and 12-4 in the conference.
After holding Charlotte of the board in the top of the first with a play at the plate to end the inning, sophomore Anthony Serino began UMass' first turn at bat with a single through the right side. Senior Eric Fredette followed with a five-pitch walk and, after senior Matt Gedman moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Serino was caught in a rundown at third as senior Peter Copa reached on a fielder's choice for the second out of the frame. However, the Minutemen proceeded to extend the inning with three straight RBI singles by junior Tom Conley, senior Kyle Multner and freshman Dylan Begin to build a 3-0 advantage.
The 49ers managed to take the runs right back in the top of the second, though. Cory Tilton reached on an error to begin Charlotte's at bat, while Justin Seager drew a walk. With one out, Ross Steedley sent a two-run single up the middle, went to second on the throw and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. Justin Wilson drew a two-out walk to extend the inning for Shane Basen, who lofted a two-run double to the fence in right, putting the 49ers on top, 4-3.
Charlotte scored again in the next inning as Kevin Gillespie reached on a fielder's choice and came home a two-out double to right center by Justin Roland.
UMass pulled back to within a run of the 49ers in the bottom of the fourth. Begin led off with a double down the left field line, moved to third on a ground ball and scored on an RBI ground out by sophomore Rich Graef.
That would be as close as the Minutemen would come, however, as the 49ers broke the game open with three runs on two hits in the fifth and three runs on two hits in the sixth. Five of the six runs scored by Charlotte in that span were unearned.
Andrew Smith tossed 6.2 innings for the 49ers in a winning effort to improve to 8-2 on the season. He allowed four runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out six. Junior Glen Misho took the loss (5-2) in his start for UMass. He surrendered eight runs, three earned, on nine hits with six walks and one strikeout.
Serino and Begin combined for four of the Minutemen's eight hits on the afternoon, going 2-fof-5 and 2-for-4, respectively. Begin collected an RBI and scored once, as well.
For Charlotte, Basen led the way with a 4-for-5 performance, five RBI and one run scored. Steedley finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored three times, while Gillespie scored three, as well.
The teams will be back in action for game two of the series tomorrow, Apr. 30, at 1 p.m. at Earl Lorden Field.