Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass cracks 15 runs over Hartford on Thursday

In response to its recent two-game losing streak, the Massachusetts baseball team clicked on all cylinders heading into this weekend’s schedule, earning a commanding 15-0 win against Hartford on Thursday afternoon.

The Minutemen (7-10, 2-1 Atlantic 10), who had been previously outscored by opposing hitters 24-9 in their last two losses, tagged the Hawks (1-17-1) for at least one run in six of nine innings in the rout. The 15 tallies UMass put up on the board are the most runs scored by the team so far this season.

When looking at all the different successes that kept the Maroon and White moving throughout the game, UMass coach Mike Stone was sure to point out two that resonated strongly to what the team’s game plan has been since game one.

“We got off to a good start early at the plate,” said Stone. “We kept the offense going from the start of the game, and we got great pitching from [sophomore Dennis] Torres to go right along with it. Good defense all starts on the mound with keeping hitters off-balanced and unable to get any real offense strung together, and we did that well today.”

Torres improved his record to 2-2 with the win, a game in which he scattered just four hits and four walks over the course of six innings, while striking out six.

Though it feels good to get such a burst of offensive production after a tough couple of games, UMass knows that, though it has momentum going into its weekend games against Fordham and Albany, the competition is strong.

“We are going to see two stronger teams [in Fordham and Albany] than what we saw today,” said Stone. “I expect to see better hitting, better pitching, and better defense, and we will have to be prepared to play hard against them in order to earn a couple of wins.”

In their first game of the Saturday double-header, the Minutemen will face off against a Fordham (15-9) squad fresh off a 3-0 shutout win against Fairfield this past Tuesday. The Rams are led by sophomore outfielder Ryan Lee and freshman bullpen pitcher Chris Pike. Lee currently leads his team with a .359 batting average and has 11 runs batted in, while also scoring 16 runs of his own. Pike has made eight appearances (including one start) in which he has surrendered only 24 hits and 14 walks in over 33 innings of work, complete with a 1.91 ERA.

Their second game of the day against the Great Danes (5-13), though not as tough on paper to play as the Rams, will prove to have its challenges throughout. Albany has a pitching weapon with Kasceim Graham, who in 24 innings of work has a 1.88 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 10 walks. The game between the two teams also marks the first time they have seen each other on the same field since the 1920 season, a game in which UMass handily won 20-1.

David Martin can be reached at [email protected].

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