September 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Work already underway for SGA speaker Sïonan Barrett -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass in for a challenge against Penn State and quarterback Christian Hackenberg -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nostalgia and angst abound in ‘Palo Alto’ -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Want student power? End the SGA -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass football kicking situation still undecided, looking forward to opportunity to play at Beaver Stadium -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lorenzo Woodley finds opportunity after getting lost in the shuffle -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Millennials’ votes can make a difference in all elections -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass faculty member Bonnie Strickland recognized for work in psychology -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass women’s soccer suffers major set back with injury to co-captain Jackie Bruno -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass men’s soccer returns home looking for season’s first win -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass professor Elizabeth Chilton to speak in Madrid and Paris about importance of heritage studies -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass club rugby hopes to continue momentum despite opening loss -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bizarre foods eaten worldwide -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

US should spend more on space -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Walking through a week of practice with UMass field hockey -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass receives $37.5 million for environmental and sustainability initiatives -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Irish coffee recipe -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To fight ISIS, US must understand them, not chalk up actions to pure evil -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UMass tennis is reloading, not rebuilding in 2014 -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fast food workers need more than $7.25 to sustain basic living -

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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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