Baseball Rallies For 5-3 Series-Clinching Win Vs. Richmond
May 6, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team erased a 3-1 deficit with a run in the sixth and three in the seventh to rally for a 5-3 win over Richmond in the teams' series finale on Sunday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. With the victory, the Minutemen take the weekend series, 2-1, and improve to 19-17 overall and 11-7 in the Atlantic 10. The Spiders drop to 22-22 on the year and 9-9 in conference play with the setback.
UMass was first to score in the contest, plating a run in the bottom of the third. Redshirt sophomore Ryan Cusick roped a one-out triple to the fence in left center and scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Rob McLam.
In its next trip to the plate, though, Richmond took a 2-1 lead. After Chris Cowell drew a two-out walk and Bret Williams reached on an error, Bryan Conway drove a double into the gap in right center to bring in the pair.
Another fielding miscue by the Minutemen in the sixth helped the Spiders push their advantage to 3-1. Adam McConnell reached on an error to open up the frame and later scored on a sacrifice fly after moving to third on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch.
However, UMass starter Joe Popielarczyk worked out of the bases loaded jam in the sixth with only the one unearned run and the Minutemen were able to pull back to within one in the bottom half of the inning. Redshirt freshman Adam Picardblasted a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left center for his third home run of the season.
The Minutemen then went on to score three runs on four hits in the seventh. Sophomore Nick Sanford led off with a single to left, was sacrificed over to second, went to third on an infield hit by Cusick and came home on an RBI single to right by McLam. UMass plated the go-ahead run as Serino brought in Cusick with a successful suicide squeeze, reaching with a bunt single. Senior Tom Conley'sground ball scored McLam to give the squad a 5-3 lead.
Senior Leif Sorensonretired all five batters he faced in the eighth and ninth, striking out one, to collect his ninth save of the season. Popielarczyk improved to 5-0 with the win after allowing just three hits and three unearned runs in 7.1 innings of work with five walks and four strikeouts.
Richmond reliever Ryan Cook took the loss (3-3). He allowed three runs on four hits in one inning on the mound and struck out one.
Cusick finished the afternoon 3-for-4, a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, and scored twice for the Minutemen. McLam drove in two and scored once.
Conway (2-for-3) tallied two of the Spiders' three hits and drove in all three runs.
UMass returns to action on Thursday, May 10, opening their series at Dayton at 3 p.m.