Baseball Squeezes Out 13-Inning Thriller at Vermont, 11-10
May 1, 2002
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Sophomore Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.) dropped a perfectly placed squeeze bunt to score Aaron Senez (Springfield, Mass.) in the top of the 13th inning and sophomore reliever Eric Chown (Fall River, Mass.) closed the door as the University of Massachusetts baseball team secured an 11-10 victory over Vermont here on Wednesday afternoon. UMass improves its record to 17-21 on the season while the Catamounts, who entered the contest riding an eight-game win streak, fall to 22-14 on the year.
The Minutemen fell behind early in the contest as Vermont scored four times on four hits in the bottom of the first inning. After the first three Catamount batters each reached on basehits off UMass starter Scott Ratliff (Helendale, Calif.), Jeff Tarigo blasted a two-run home run over the leftfield fence to put Vermont ahead 4-0.
UMass scored a pair of runs in the top of the third to close the margin, but the Catamounts answered with a pair to make the score 6-2 after three innings. After Minuteman catcher Tom Ellerbrook (Northampton, Mass.) walked with one out in the top of the third, centerfielder Mike Kulak (Bristol, Conn.) tripled to right center to drive him in. Kulak then scored on a Senez two-out single.
The Minutemen scored three runs with two out in the top of the fifth to make the score 6-5, then added four in the top of the sixth to take the lead 9-6. UMass scored on an RBI single by sophomore Adam Stojanowski (West Roxbury, Mass.) before junior Jeff Altieri (Whitinsville, Mass.) plated two with a basehit through the left side. In the sixth, UMass scored four times on just two hits to take a three-run lead.
Vermont answered with a lone run in the sixth that chased Raliff from the contest as the Minutemen went to Chown with one out in the frame. Chown worked out of a first-and-third situation to record a pair of outs and keep UMass on top. In the eighth, Vermont scored three times on four hits and two Minuteman errors to take a 10-9 lead into the final inning.
With two outs in the top of the ninth freshman Derrick Durepo (Ware, Mass.) singled through the right side and rightfielder Connell Clark (Springfield, Mass.) doubled down the rightfield line to tie the contest at 10-10. It was Clark's third hit of the afternoon, and Durepo's second run scored.
The Catamounts loaded the bases in the 10th, but Chown got Tarigo to fly out to right to end the threat. Chown then retired Vermont in order in the 11th and 12th before UMass clinched the win in the 13th.
Senez led off the inning with a basehit through the right side and Altieri followed with an infield hit to put runners at first and second. John Seed (New Bedford, Mass.) then entered the game as a pinch hitter and sacrificed Senez and Altieri to second and third. Athas then executed a perfect squeeze bunt to score Senez from third and give the Minutemen an 11-10 lead. After Vermont's Jeff Barry led off with a single in the bottom of the 13th, Chown got Barry Chamberland to fly out before forcing Tarigo to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Altieri, Clark and Senez each finished with three hits in the contest, and Altieri added a game-high three runs batted in. Chown finished with 7.2 innings of relief as he upped his record to 2-8 on the year. Scott Blood picked up the loss for Vermont to fall to 0-1.
The Minutemen return to action on Thursday, May 2, as they host Harvard at Earl Lorden Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Line Score UMass 11, Vermont 10 (13 innings) UMass (17-21) 002 034 001 000 1 - 11 15 4 Vermont (22-14) 402 001 030 000 0 - 10 13 1