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Minutemen split 2 games

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

After a blowout loss to Connecticut on Monday, the Massachusetts baseball team bounced back with an 8-3 win at Central Connecticut State on Tuesday.

The Minutemen (12-18, 5-4 A-10) looked to have their bats stay hot on Wednesday, when they traveled to Brookline, Mass., to play against Harvard in the first round of the annual Beanpot tournament. The offense sputtered, though, as UMass lost the pitcher’s duel, 1-0.

The Minutemen couldn’t carry that success at the plate over to the first round of the Beanpot, however, as a pitcher’s duel broke out while taking on Harvard at Northeastern.

Charlie Benson got the start and received the loss for UMass, going eight innings, allowing one run, scattering nine hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Neither Harvard nor UMass sustained any sort of rally until the bottom half of the ninth, when Benson was relieved by Leif Sorenson after walking the leadoff batter, Jack Colton. Colton then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sean O’Hara before Danny Moskovits drove him in with a walk-off single.

Getting the win for Harvard was Andrew Hatch, who pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.

While the offense was absent against Hartford, UMass did produce against CCSU on Tuesday, scoring runs in each of the first three innings and even adding some insurance after the Blue Devils threatened.

Against CCSU (17-14-1), UMass got things going in the top of the first as Anthony Serino led off with a double to left-center field. After Eric Fredette fouled out to second base, Matt Gedman doubled to right-center field, scoring Serino while extending his career-long hitting streak to 16 games.

The Minutemen rallied in the second inning as well, when Nik Campero reached base with a one-out walk and then advanced to second on a Nick Sanford ground out. Rich Graef then doubled to right field, which brought Campero home. Serino followed with an RBI single for his second hit of the game, scoring Graef.

UMass tacked on three more in the third, starting with Tom Conley’s RBI triple. Back-to-back doubles from Kyle Multner and Campero put the Minutemen up, 6-0.

The Blue Devils answered with two runs in the fourth with a two-run home run from Pat Epps.

The Minutemen added to its 6-3 lead in the top of the ninth with two insurance runs, finalizing the 8-3 outcome. UMass’ Ben Hart earned the victory, throwing eight innings while allowing three runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out three.

UMass head coach Mike Stone was impressed with Hart’s outing, saying that it was an excellent performance and it was just the kind of start the Minutemen needed after the big loss to UConn.

After such a low offensive output against UConn, Stone was pleased with how the team manufactured runs.

“It was a good productive day offensively,” said Stone.

UMass will look to rebound on Friday when they take on Xavier at home at 3 p.m.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at eamansfi@student.umass.edu.

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