March 28, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

Closing arguments presented, jury deliberations begin Friday in first of four 2012 gang rape trials -

Friday, March 27, 2015

UMass library opens groundbreaking 3D printing lab -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Defendant in 2012 gang rape case says accuser consented to sex -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

For the love of the craft: UMass Juggling Club -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UMass lacrosse looks for fourth straight victory versus Towson -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The dark, twisty special on Robert Durst proves that, yet again, humanity’s biggest “Jinx” is hubris -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Law and order, UMass style -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hillel fails to represent all Jewish students -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UMass women’s lacrosse aims another perfect conference record against Duquesne -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UMass heads home to take on Albany -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coming off weekend victory, UMass softball prepares for series against St. Josephs -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

‘The Last Man on Earth?’ more like, ‘The Worst Show on Earth’ -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A new face for money -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UMass hopes to carry momentum into weekend series against VCU -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

UMass Theatre Guild to present “Seussical” this weekend -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

UMass eyes the future of its athletics with the hiring of Athletic Director Ryan Bamford -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Derrick Gordon to transfer from UMass in search of more prominent role -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Local author and activist Don Ogden writes to make environmental change -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chiarelli: Football the center of attention Tuesday at Bamford’s hiring -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MANNA soup kitchen continues to feed the local hungry in Northampton -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Minutemen offense key for struggling pitching staff

With 40 runs in its past three games, the Massachusetts baseball team has sparked its offensive side.

The Minutemen (8-20, 5-7 Atlantic 10) watched their bats ignite last Sunday, when they won the rubber game against Rhode Island, 13-1. Since then, UMass plated 27 runs in two games, going 1-1.

“We’re taking good, quality swings and we’re balanced in the batter’s box,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “Sometimes we manufacture runs and other times we just swing the bats. It’s hard to put your finger on it sometimes but it’s starting to come around more [lately].”

In their game on Wednesday, the Minutemen offense scored 15 runs in a four-run victory over Harvard. Every UMass batter registered at least one hit, including senior Mike Gedman who went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four runs batted in.

“Sometimes it has to do with pitching,” Stone said. “We didn’t see a whole lot of quality pitching these last few days.”

Eric Fredette transferred to UMass from Vermont, and currently leads all UMass players with a .387 batting average and a .459 on base percentage. Fredette primarily bats second in the lineup, and consistently presents opportunities for the team to drive in runs. On Tuesday, however, Fredette proved he can send in runs as well, registering a career-high four RBIs in UMass’ 17-12 loss against Central Connecticut.

“We try to stay inside the ball, stay balanced with our weight distribution and stay soft on the front foot,” Stone said. “We have a pregame batting practice routine where everybody tries to hit the ball to the opposite field first and [after that], they can swing away based on where the pitch is.”

The lineup has remained virtually the same throughout the season, except for the addition of sophomore Alex Fisher, who has recently put himself in Stone’s good graces.

“Fisher is getting in there and that’s a great story,” Stone said. “He stayed back and didn’t travel with us [earlier on] but he worked hard and improved and he’s done a great job for us.”

Fisher has started in eight games so far this season, batting .324 while scoring eight runs and batting in seven.

Stone believes that every player in the lineup should follow an approach that they are most comfortable with.

“On certain days, certain players feel more comfortable when they’re not thinking but reacting,” Stone said. “Sometimes you need to take a pitch so you’re not jumping out at the ball. It’s a day-to-day thing. Baseball is a tough game and it’s hard to get into a groove.”

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

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