Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon
Typically, in baseball, when one team more than doubles its opposition in hits, it usually results in a victory.
That was not the case Tuesday afternoon for the Massachusetts baseball team as it out-hit Fairfield 11-5, but ended up on the wrong end on the scoreboard falling to the Stags (27-23, 15-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) 4-2 at Alumni Diamond in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The loss was the eighth in the last ten games for UMass (15-27, 8-12 Atlantic 10).
The problem for the Minutemen wasn’t in their inability to get hits, as four players finished with multi-hit games. Instead, their problem was the inability to cash in those hits for runs. UMass was 1-of-13 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-11 with two outs in the inning.
“We were strong in most facets of the game,” Minutemen coach Mike Stone said. We got good pitching, we were pretty sound on defense; it just came down to us not coming through in those spots with runners in scoring position.”
With the hitting advantage that UMass held in the game, a loss like this will hurt more than others.
“To outhit a team and lose it is very disappointing,” Stone said. “You have to execute in those important spots and we didn’t do that today. That is the main reason we lost.”
The Minutemen got a strong performance on the mound from junior Mike Geannelis, who pitched all eight innings for UMass on the day. Geannelis held a no-hitter going into the fourth before it was broken up during the first at-bat of the inning with a single by center fielder Drew Arciuolo.
Geannelis struck out five on the day, giving up four runs, three of which were earned. The only major blemish for the junior was the eventual game-winning, two-run home run by Stags first baseman Mac Crispino in the seventh. Despite the strong effort, he was afforded the loss and his record dropped to 1-5 on the season.
“(Mike) gave us a chance to win today,” Stone said. “He was in command of the game and was executing his pitches well. He pitched well enough to win without question.”
With their non-conference schedule now in the rearview mirror, the Minutemen now set their sights on the last series of the season against George Mason. According to Stone, UMass is eliminated from conference tournament contention, but he is hoping his team comes out strong this weekend.
“They’re keeping score, we’re playing for pride, and when we have an opportunity to compete, we should be competing our butts off,” Stone said. “We don’t want to have anything less than a great effort every single day.”
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @aaucoin34.