LeBlanc & Grant Pitch UMass To Doubleheader Sweep Of Temple
May 17, 2013
AMBLER, Pa. - A pair of quality starts on the mound from sophomores Conor LeBlanc and Andrew Grant, along with 26 hits from the offense over two games, helped the UMass baseball team sweep Temple in a doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Skip Wilson Field. The Minutemen took the contests by the scores of 4-3 and 6-3, respectively to improve to 13-31 overall, 6-17 in the Atlantic 10, while the Owls drop to 18-27 on the year and 7-16 in conference play following the pair of losses.
In the opener, UMass broke up a pitchers' duel with four straight two-out singles in the top of the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. Juniors Nik Campero and Kellen Pagel began the string of hits and were driven in by sophomore Jeff Cavanaro and freshman John Jennings, respectively.
Then in the top of the seventh, the Minutemen pushed the advantage to 4-0. Cavanaro led off by legging out an infield hit, was sacrificed over to second and scored as freshman Vinny Scifo reached on a two-base error. Scifo later crossed the plate on a two-out RBI single by junior Rob McLam.
However, Temple took the pair back in the bottom of the seventh to close the gap back to two. Three straight singles from Henry Knabe, Matt Elko and Derek Peterson broke up the shutout. Then with one down, Elko scored on a fielder's choice, dropped fly ball hit by Elijah Yarborough.
The Owls would make it a one-run game in the ninth. Elko led off with a double to right center and scored on an RBI groundout by Andrew Nist.
Jordan Pace quelled the rally, though, by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth to pick up the save (2). LeBlanc collected the win (2-6) on the mound for UMass, allowing just two runs, one earned, on six hits over seven innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Patrick Peterson took the loss (2-7) for Temple as he surrendered four runs, two earned, on eight hits over 6.2 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
The UMass offense staked Grant to a three-run lead after sending eight batters to the plate in the top of the first in game two, combining for five hits in the frame. Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick and senior Rich Graef started things off with a pair of singles and moved up to second and third on a balk. McLam then put the Minutemen on the board with a two-run double down the left field line. After an infield single by junior Dylan Begin advanced McLam to third, Campero plated him with a single to center.
Temple pulled to within 3-2 in the bottom of the second courtesy of a two-out, two-RBI double to left center by Nick Lustrino that scored Elko and Derek Peterson.
The teams then traded runs in the third. In UMass' half, Campero tucked a double inside the left field line with two away, went to third on an infield single by Pagel and came home on a single to left by Cavanaro. The Owls also scored their run with two outs. Jimmy Kerrigan struck out and reached on a wild pitch to extend the inning, while singles by Knabe and Elko brought him around to score.
In the top of the fifth, the Minutemen went back up by two, 5-3. Pagel beat out a softly-hit ground ball for an infield single and later scored on an errant pickoff attempt.
UMass then pushed its advantage to 6-3 in the seventh. McLam singled to second, moved to third on a single to right by Begin and Campero knocked him in with a fielder's choice ground ball.
Grant logged the victory (3-7) as he went six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Pace recorded his second save of he day, his third of the year, tossing three shutout innings of relief, while surrendering one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. Eric Peterson suffered the loss (6-3) on the hill for Temple. He let up five runs on 12 hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 4.2 innings in his start.
All nine Minutemen batters had at least one hit over the two games, with eight tallying two more base knocks. Cavanaro led the way for UMass at the plate, going 5-for-8 with two RBI and a run scored. Campero followed and was 4-for-9 over the two contests with a double, two RBI and two run scored. Begin (3-for-9) drove in three and scored twice.
The teams will close out the 2013 season with the series finale tomorrow afternoon at noon at Skip Wilson Field.