A strong offensive outburst led the Massachusetts baseball team to a 2-1 Atlantic 10 series win against George Washington this weekend.
The Minutemen began the season struggling in the runs category, but have been swinging the bat well in their last two road trips. UMass (6-9, 2-1 A-10) picked up an 8-4 win on Friday before splitting its doubleheader on Saturday.
In their final game of the weekend, the Minutemen saw their five-game winning streak snapped with a 10-5 loss at Barcroft Park in Arlington, Va. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but unfavorable weather moved the game to Saturday afternoon. The Colonials (7-17, 1-2 A-10) took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to consecutive RBI singles from Stephen Oswald and Tyler McCarthy. McCarthy proved to be the difference in the game, going 4-for-5 with five RBIs. UMass tied it at two in the top of the second with an Anthony Serino sacrifice fly and freshman Josh Messier’s single up the middle that drove in senior Kyle Multner.
UMass trailed, 6-5, at the conclusion of the fifth, but the Colonials tacked on insurance runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Sophomore Dennis Torres was charged with the loss after letting up four runs in 1.2 innings of work. Messier, Multner and Matt Gedman fared well at the plate, going 3-for-4, 2-for-4 and 3-for-4, respectively.
UMass performed better in their first game of the doubleheader, using four home runs to win, 6-3. With the game tied at three in the ninth inning, Multner led off with a single before junior Tom Conley crushed a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall. Serino followed with a home run to give UMass a three-run lead going into the bottom of the frame. Leif Sorenson came in to close the game for the Minutemen, sending the Colonials down in order for his third save of the season.
“It was nice to see the bats coming in early, that really helped with the intensity and got everyone in the game,” said Sorenson in a UMassAthletics.com interview. “Hopefully [we keep] swinging it and throwing it well and I think we’ll be alright.”
Junior starter Robert Machado delivered eight innings on the rubber, striking out five to pick up his second win of the season while allowing eight hits and one walk. Gedman went 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs. Oswald went 2-for-3 for the Colonials, driving in all three runs.
On Friday, an 8-4 victory started the Minutemen with a win in their A-10 opener for the first time since 2007. UMass jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, as Conley had a sacrifice fly to score Peter Copa and freshman Dylan Begin drove in Multner with an RBI single.
The Minutemen scored five in the third to increase their lead to 7-0. Senior Eric Fredette started the sequence with a one-out single. Copa and Multner then both drew walks, loading the bases for Tom Conley, who hit a two-out, two-run single into shallow right. Begin and Messier drove in three more runs to complete their half of the frame.
Junior Glen Misho got the start for UMass, picking up his third straight win. He allowed four runs on ten hits while striking out five. Sorenson closed out the game with 2.2 innings of scoreless work.
“It was a good win for us in our first A-10 game, so we were excited about coming in here and getting a win,” said Conley in a UMassAthletics.com interview. “Glen pitched a hell of a game and the bats were ready early.”
UMass returns to action on March 29, as it takes on Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. at 3 p.m.
Michael Counos can be reached at email@example.com.