Baseball Outlasted By Fordham, 11-9 In 15 Innings

Rich Graef went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored on Senior Day.

Rich Graef went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored on Senior Day.

May 5, 2013

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AMHERST, Mass. - UMass opened up Sunday's contest with a 5-0 advantage, but a four-run rally by Fordham in the ninth ultimately led to an 11-9 setback for the Minutemen in 15 innings on the squad's Senior Day at Earl Lorden Field. The 15-inning contest, which lasted four hours, 46 minutes, was the longest for UMass (11-28, 4-14 A-10) since 2008.

The Minutemen began the day by plating five in the bottom of the first to chase Rams' starter Jimmy Murphy after just one-third of an inning. A trio of walks, followed by a bases-clearing double off the bat of redshirt-sophomore Adam Picard put UMass on the board, while juniors Nik Campero and Kellen Pagel had RBI singles to increase the margin to 5-0.

In the top of the second, though, Fordham promptly took three of the runs back courtesy of a two-run single up the middle by Joseph DeVito. Charles Galiano then brought the Rams to within two with a sacrifice fly that sent in Rob McCunney.

A leadoff walk turned into the Minutemen's sixth run of the day in the bottom half of the frame. Freshman Vinny Scifo drew the free pass and later crossed the plate on an RBI ground ball by Picard.

Fordham made it a two-run game once more in the top of the fourth. DeVito opened the inning with a single to center, was sacrificed over to second, went to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI single through the left side by Galiano that brought the score to 6-4.

UMass increased its lead to 8-4 by scoring runs in both the seventh and the eighth. Picard singled and junior Dylan Begin plated him with a double to center in the seventh. The following inning, freshman John Jennings dropped a single into right and eventually came home on a sacrifice fly by senior Rich Graef.

However, the four-run cushion did not hold as Fordham sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the ninth and scored four runs on four hits. Mike Mauri capped off the rally for the Rams with a single to center that brought in DeVito for the tying run.

Fordham went in front for the first time on the afternoon in the top of the 11th as McCunney was hit by a pitch and later scored on a sacrifice fly after an error prolonged the Rams' at bat.

The Minutemen took the run back in the bottom half, though, to extend the contest. Graef led off with a double to right center, moved to third on a ground ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Picard.

After Fordham left the bases loaded in the top of the 14th, McCunney led off the 15th with a solo home run to left. DeVito walked and later scored an insurance run for the Rams on a wild pitch.

Junior Aaron Plunkett threw 5.2 innings of relief for UMass and took the loss (0-5). He surrendered three runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Jonathan Reich picked up the win (2-0) for Fordham. He pitched three scoreless innings out of the bullpen and scattered three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two.

Picard finished the contest with a career-high five RBI and went 2-for-6 with two runs scored. Graef was 3-for-5 on the day with a double, an RBI and scored twice.

For the Rams, McCunney led the way with a 5-for-6 performance, two RBI and three runs scored. Brendan Maghini hit 4-for-7 with two runs scored.

UMass next travels to Xavier for an Atlantic 10 series that opens with game one on Friday, May 10, at 3 p.m.




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