Baseball Falls at Central Connecticut, 2-1
May 8, 2002
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Despite three hits by freshman Curt Szado (Monson, Mass.) and five innings of stellar relief from freshman Scott Ratliff (Helendale, Calif.), the University of Massachusetts baseball team dropped a hard-fought 2-1 decision to Central Connecticut State here on Wednesday afternoon. With the loss, UMass falls to 19-24 on the year, while CCSU improves to 30-19.
UMass got on the board first in the second inning. With one out, Jeff Altieri (Whitinsville, Mass.) and Curt Szado had back-to-back singles to left. Senior Connell Clark (Springfield, Mass.) followed with an infield hit to third to load the bases. Sophomore shortstop Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.) then ripped a single to left to plate Altieri. Blue Devil starter Justin Cerbone then settled down, striking out the next batter and retiring the next on a groundout to end the threat.
Central got a run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Pat Holden that scored Chip Rourke, who had doubled with one out.
The Blue Devils got their second run with a little help from the Minutemen in the third. Rob Hosgood led off with a single, but was gunned out trying to steal second base. Tim D'Aquila followed with a single to center and went to second on a walk. Kevin Rival then hit a comebacker to the mound that UMass starting pitcher Matt Boulanger (Westfield, Mass.) fielded, whirled and threw to second for the force out. Trying to complete the double play, Athas short-hopped the first baseman and the ball rolled in the dugout, allowing Daquila to score from second.
Cerbone, who raised his record to 3-1 with the victory, was only threatened one more time in the game. UMass got consecutive one-out singles by Szado and Clark in the sixth, but Cerbone got Athas to ground into an inning-ending double play.
UMass got excellent relief pitching from Ratliff, who came on in the fourth inning for the Minutemen and held Central to just three hits the rest of the way, striking out eight without walking a batter.
The Minutemen will return to action on Thursday as they host Harvard in a non-conference contest. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
LINE SCORE UMass (19-24) 010 000 000- 1 9 2 CCSU (30-19) 011 000 00x- 2 8 1 Matt Boulanger, Scott Ratliff (4) and Tom Ellerbrook; Justin Cerbone and Tim D'Aquila.