UMass baseball swept over weekend

By Daniel Malone

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

A rough start to the 2013 season got even worse for the Massachusetts baseball team this weekend after a three-game sweep by Lamar in a rain-shortened series in Beaumont, Texas. UMass was outscored 22-4 in the three losses, which included an 8-0 shutout in what became the final game of the road trip after inclement weather erased Sunday’s matchup.

The blanking for the Minutemen (1-5) came in the second half of a doubleheader on Saturday. Cardinals (14-2) pitcher Jonathan Dziedzic was dominant in the win, holding UMass scoreless over 7.2 innings while allowing only one hit, striking out 12 and walking two.

Lance Warren struck out two more Minutemen in relief of Dziedzic to complete the shutout and put a cap on a woeful day at the plate for UMass.

Designated hitter Rob McLam recorded the Minutemen’s only hit, a single to left field in the fourth inning.

Third baseman Aaron Olivas, right fielder Jude Vidrine and designated hitter V.J. Bunner each drove in two runs for Lamar, which scratched across a run in the first and never looked back.

Andrew Grant struggled with his command on the hill for UMass, allowing six runs (five earned), on seven hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out five, but walked six and was charged with two wild pitches.

Seven-run seventh spells trouble for UMass

The Minutemen struck first in the early game of the Saturday doubleheader, but couldn’t hold on for the victory after a seven-run breakout for Lamar in the seventh in a 10-2 defeat.

Mason Trubey, making his first appearance of the season for UMass, began the inning in relief of starter Jordan Pace and allowed four earned runs without recording an out. Though he didn’t give up a hit, Trubey allowed all four of his batters faced to reach base, walking three, hitting another while also tossing a wild pitch.

The Minutemen got on the board in the fourth after center fielder Anthony Serino singled, stole second and was driven in on a single to center by designated hitter Adam Picard.

Serino scored UMass’ only other run of the day on an RBI double from first baseman Nik Campero in the sixth. The Minutemen finished with six hits and six men left on base.

Collin Chapman picked up the win for Lamar, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings, while striking out seven and walking one. Pace struck out five in six innings for UMass while allowing two runs on nine hits and three walks.

The Cardinals’ 2-3-4 hitters combined to go 9-of-14 at the plate with four RBIs and three runs scored.

Rally falls short in opener

The Minutemen’s best chance for a victory in the series came in the opener on Friday when they had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth inning, but failed to complete the comeback, falling 4-2.

With runners at first and second and only one out, pinch hitter Dylan Begin grounded a ball to Olivas, who tagged third for the force and fired it across the diamond for the game-ending double play.          UMass stranded seven runners in the loss.

Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Minutemen broke through against Cardinals starter Eric Harrington for two runs. Second baseman Ryan Cusick, Serino and McLam led off the inning with three consecutive singles before a bases-loaded walk from Campero forced the lead runner in.

Catcher Brandon Walsh then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that, while scoring Serino to cut the deficit to one run, also ended UMass’ hopes of an extended rally.

Lamar tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when a runner from third scored on an Aaron Plunkett wild pitch.

Harrington worked eight innings to record the win for the Cardinals, allowing a pair of runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out nine.

Starter D.J. Jauss lasted 5.1 innings for the Minutemen and allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Serino, Cusick and McLam each collected two hits in the loss.

UMass travels to South Orange, N.J., on Friday for a pair of two-game series against Seton Hall and Manhattan as part of the Strike Out Cancer Tournament.

Daniel Malone can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Daniel_Malone.