Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

UMass baseball needs more execution from its bullpen this weekend in Maine

(Erica Lowenkron/Collegian)

Execution is key for the Massachusetts baseball team, as it heads into a stretch where it will play eight games in eight days against plenty of stiff competition.

UMass (0-3) will first travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears (5-5) in a three-game set beginning Friday. The Minutemen were swept in their first series of the season against Elon last weekend while Maine has won five of its past seven games.

“We need to execute our short game. Simple as that,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “We came close to winning a couple games against Elon. We were four outs away in the first game with no one on base. A win would’ve been huge but we can’t dwell on it and need to concentrate on the next game.”

Stone felt the biggest thing for his team moving forward into this stretch was seeing more pitches, more breaking balls and being able to execute. It was something the Minutemen struggled with in its series against the Phoenix. UMass scored four runs in three games while being outscored 12-4.

In the season opener, the Minutemen took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning before surrendering two runs and falling on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth. One takeaway from last weekend, despite being swept, was the strong starting pitching the team received.

Sophomore Justin Lasko started the first game for UMass, going seven innings, allowing one run on five hits to go with four strikeouts and four walks. Brooks Knapek took the mound in game two, allowing two runs in six innings while striking out 10. However, the Minutemen’s offense failed to score any runs for the freshman.

In the final game, senior Mike Geannelis took the mound and continued the strong string of starts for UMass. Geannelis was the third pitcher to go at least six innings as he went for seven innings, allowing two runs while striking out nine.

However, it was the bullpen that let the games slip away. Junior Kevin Hassett, who had a strong sophomore season, struggled in his 2017 debut surrendering two runs in the eighth inning against Elon. He was followed by freshman Christian Rosati who allowed the game-winning run to cross the plate.

With the Minutemen down 2-1 heading into the eighth inning of the final game over the weekend, Casey Aubin allowed three runs, blowing the game open for the Phoenix.

“We have a lot of young pitchers so it was good to get their feet wet,” Stone said. “We have more in the tank, I know they can and will be better, it just takes time [with so many young guys.]”

Maine’s top offensive player in the early going, Christopher Bec, is sporting a .375 average with 10 runs and seven doubles in 10 games. He leads the team with seven runs batted in.

On the pitching side, Nick Silva has posted a 0.95 earned run average in his first three starts of 2017. In 19 innings, Silva has allowed just two runs on 13 hits while striking out 16.

The bullpen has also been exceptional for Maine. Senior Jeff Genilas and freshman Matthew Pushard have yet to allow a run in a combined 8.2 innings. Cody Laweryson and Zach Winn each have an ERA under three out of the bullpen.

“We need to come out ready to play, bust our butts and execute,” Stone said. “It is really a matter of executing, playing hard, believing in ourselves and in the situation and preparing well. It is really a simple formula.”

First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Delray Beach, Florida.

Tyler Fiedler can be reached via email and followed on Twitter @Tyler_Fiedler.

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