UMass Baseball Rallies For 6-3 Win Over GW
May 18, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass baseball team scored runs in five of its eight trips to the plate and rallied from a 3-1 deficit to claim a 6-3 victory over George Washington on Friday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. With the series-clinching win, the Minutemen improve to 21-20 overall and 13-10 in the Atlantic 10, while the Colonials drop to 20-34 overall and 6-17 in conference play.
After stranding a runner in the first, the Minutemen pushed across a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Rob McLam hustled out a bunt single to open up the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out RBI single to left by junior Rich Graef.
In the top of the third, however, George Washington managed to pull in front, 3-1, with one swing of the bat. Ryan Thomas led off the frame with a single up the middle and Ollie Mittag reached on an error with two away, extending the inning for Stephen Oswald. Oswald then lofted a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right center for his second home run of the series, the first of the year surrendered by UMass hurler Joe Popielarczyk in 75.1 innings.
The Minutemen went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, but managed to pull level with the Colonials in the fourth. After three straight singles by McLam, sophomore Dylan Begin and sophomore Nik Campero, sophomore Nick Sanford reached on an error with McLam coming home on the play. Graef then brought in Begin with a sacrifice fly to right, evening the score at 3-3.
UMass manufactured the go-ahead run in the fifth after Kyle Adie reached on an error to begin the inning. Three straight bunts, including two for base hits by junior Anthony Serino and McLam, brought in Adie.
Adie later opened up the seventh with a double to the right field corner, stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly by senior Tom Conley to push the advantage to 5-3.
Campero then became the fifth leadoff batter to score for the Minutemen after reaching with a single to right in the bottom of the eighth. Sanford's sacrifice bunt and a ground ball by Graef moved Campero to third, setting up an RBI single up the middle by freshman Paul Yanakopulos.
Popielarczyk worked seven innings in his start and improved to 6-1 on the year with the win. He let up three unearned runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out eight. Senior Leif Sorenson finished the contest with two scoreless innings to collect his 10th save of the season, allowing three hits and logging one strikeout.
Colonials' starter Justin Albright took the loss (4-1) as he surrendered four runs, three earned, walked one and struck out one in six innings on the hill.
McLam paced UMass' offense with a 4-for-4 afternoon, two runs scored and an RBI. Graef went 1-for-3 with two RBI and Serino was 2-for-4.
Oswald finished the contest 3-for-5 for GW with all three of the squad's RBI and scored a run.
The teams will conclude the regular season tomorrow afternoon at Earl Lorden Field with a 12 p.m. contest. UMass' five seniors will be honored 10 minutes prior to first pitch.
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