UMass Defeats Xavier, 6-3, But Eliminated From Playoff Hunt
May 18, 2007
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The UMass Minutemen (22-24, 13-13 Atlantic 10), powered by three home runs and 3 1/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen, were victorious over the Xavier Musketeers (26-29, 16-10) by a score of 6-3 Friday afternoon at Hayden Field. Adam Tempesta (Brockton, Mass.), Bryan Adamski (South Deerfield, Mass.), and Travis Munsey (Durham, NH) all homered for the Minutemen. Jared Freni (Malden, Mass.; 3-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out five to pick up the win. Charlie Leesman was tagged with the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, in six innings of work.
The Minutemen entered the weekend vying for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament that begins next week. Despite Friday's win, UMass was eliminated from the playoff hunt by virtue of St. Bonaventure's (14-11 A-10) victory over Temple (8-18 A-10), clinching them the sixth spot in the conference.
The game was scoreless until UMass got things started in the fourth inning with back-to-back solo jacks by Tempesta and Adamski, their second and fifth, respectively, giving the Minutemen a 2-0 lead.
The Minutemen bats kept things going the following inning. Mike Donato (East Hartford, Conn.) reached on a fielder's choice following a walk to Ryan Franczek (Chicopee, Mass.). Munsey then sent Leesman's 2-0 offering over the leftfield fence, scoring two more UMass runs. It was the first career home run for the senior captain.
The offense kept on rolling in the sixth when Adamski led the inning of with a double, his eleventh of the season, and was moved over to third on Bill Rankin's (Willington, Conn.) seventh sacrifice bunt of the year. Coach Mike Stone's decision to bunt would prove to be the right call as Adamski then scored on a pitch that got away from the Xavier catcher, making it 5-0.
The Musketeers got back into the ballgame in their half of the sixth. After cruising through the first five innings, three straight singles off Freni put the Musketeers on the board. Following a fly out, second baseman Adam Lipski doubled down the rightfield line, scoring Xavier's second and third runs.
Mitchell Eilenberg (Brooklyn, NY) came in to relieve Freni and got UMass out of the inning.
The Minutemen tacked on another insurance run in the eighth when Rankin, after being hit by a pitch, scored all the way from first on a Franczek double to right-center.
Eilenberg kept the Musketeer bats at bay, pitching scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.
UMass turned to Adamski in the ninth to close things out. He delivered, pitching a scoreless frame and locking up his fourth save of the season. It was also the ninth save of his career, moving him out of a four-way tie and into first on the career saves list at UMass.
The Minutemen will wrap up the series with Xavier on Saturday. First pitch is set for noon. As always, fans can follow every pitch by clicking on the Gametracker link at UMassathletics.com.
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