Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

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

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball

Robert Rigo/Collegian

Tuesday night’s 15-5 beating at the hands of Holy Cross doesn’t exactly scream “a close game.” But the box score would show you that heading into the eighth inning the Massachusetts baseball team and the Crusaders were in fact tied at five.

While the Minutemen had a done a good job of coming back each time they went down in the first seven innings, missed opportunities kept them from taking the lead.

“I don’t know if we were playing too much catch up but we were behind and we answered so that was good. That was a good, that was a positive thing,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “It doesn’t do you any good if you get behind and give so that certainly wasn’t the case, we didn’t give up.”

While a 10-run eighth inning for the Crusaders was certainly a pitching meltdown for the Minutemen, UMass pitchers have done a quality job so far this season. Opponents are averaging only 5.8 runs per game.

Starters Justin Lasko and Mike Geannelis have given the Minutemen plenty of length. In three starts a piece, both have averaged over six innings per start. Lasko even has an earned run average of 2.18.

The blame for a slow and frustrating start to the season falls on the offense.

UMass’ 64 total runs this season average out to roughly five a game, much like its opponents. However, the Minutemen (4-8) have double the amount of losses as they do wins.

In the eight games they have lost, UMass has only scored an average of a little under three runs per game (2.8 to be exact). But in the four cases where the Minutemen have won, the offensive production soars to an average of 10 runs per game.

There is little middle ground. UMass has either slugged its way to a win or gone nine innings barely cracking the scoreboard.

Given their record and the average amount of runs they score when they lose, the Minutemen have struggled to score in most of their games this season.

However its biggest Achilles’ heel has been close games. UMass is 0-4 in games decided by one or two runs.

It’s a small sample size. The Minutemen have only played 12 of their 49 games this season and none on their home field. UMass has been prone to slow starts in recent seasons. Each of the last two years it has lost its first five games of the season and in 2016, started off 1-7.

There is still plenty of baseball to be played, though the immediate future may be challenging.

A three-game series at George Washington this weekend could prove to be a tough task for UMass. The Colonials are hot as of late, winning six of their last seven games and UMass has not performed particularly well on the road this season.

“We just need to bounce back from a tough loss and put together a good series,” Stone said. “We need to get good starting pitching like we’ve gotten and bridge the gap to the end of the game.”

In losing all four of its road games – three to Elon and the one to Holy Cross – UMass has been outscored 27-9. That number is greatly inflated by the 15-5 loss to the Crusaders, but it does not take away from the fact that the Minutemen have only scored nine runs in those four games.

Philip Sanzo can be reached at and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.

Leave A Comment