UMass baseball avoids sweep with walk-off win over Dayton

By Tyler Fiedler

Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian
Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian

Kyle Adie hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Massachusetts baseball team to a 5-4 win over Dayton in walk-off fashion.

The Minutemen (4-19, 3-6 Atlantic 10) avoided an eighth straight loss and a weekend sweep at the hands of the Flyers with the comeback win.

UMass scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth for its fourth win of the season. Adie shined with four hits, including the game-winning knock with the bases loaded.

“He certainly was the table setter today and was able to get some big hits for us,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “He was the hitter we wanted up in that situation.”

Brandon Walsh led off the ninth with a walk, and Vinny Scifo followed with a single. Dayton pitcher Nick Weybright then walked Paul Yanakopulos to load the bases set the stage for Adie. Three pitches later the Minutemen walked off victorious.

“It was a big win for us,” Stone said. “Hopefully we can start getting some wins.”

A.J. Ryan started off the scoring for Dayton with a first inning single that drove in Alex Harris. The Minutemen quickly responded with a run of their own on a sacrifice fly by Nik Campero.

The Flyers (12-17, 5-4 A-10) broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh on Ryan’s third RBI off of Walsh to drive in Harris for his third run of the game. Harris and Ryan combined for six of Dayton’s 11 hits. The Flyers added one more in the eighth to push the lead to two.

The Minutemen answered in the eighth scoring two of its own on a Campero single to right.

“I was happy to see us get some big hits in big spots,” Stone said. “It is nice to see our team fight and not give up late in the game.”

Dayton senior third baseman Robby Sunderman made a key error in the eighth to ignite the UMass comeback.

“We needed to get this win, we have been on a tough skid of late,” Stone said. “We lost a close one Friday which we felt we could have won, so winning this win was important.”

Walsh went seven innings, giving up three runs, only one them being earned. The Minutemen committed three errors that led to two Dayton runs.

Dayton powers past UMass

Dayton’s two home runs and four-run fifth helped it beat UMass 6-2 on Saturday. Sergio Plasencia and Ryan went deep for the Flyers for their fifth win in conference play.

The Minutemen held an early 2-1 lead going into the fifth inning, but their defense struggled, leading to four unearned Dayton runs. A miscue in the field extended the inning for the Flyers and they did not miss their chance.

“Our defense was a major problem today,” Stone said. “We did not help (Aaron) Plunkett out.”

Plunkett started for the Minutemen in a losing effort on Saturday, going five innings and giving up five runs (one earned) and striking out four. Noah Buettgen pitched a complete game for the Flyers. He gave up two runs, struck out six and walked one.

“Buettgen was very good for them today,” Stone said. “He pitched a great game and was tough on us.”

The Minutemen scoring was done in the third on a trio of two-out hits. Campero and Dylan Begin reached with back-to-back singles and sophomore Brandon Walsh drove them in with his first double of the season.

UMass drops home opener

The Minutemen could not hold off the Flyers’ late inning comeback in the 6-5 loss in their home opener. UMass held a 5-2 advantage before Dayton scored two in the eighth and two in the ninth.

An RBI single by Alex Harris gave the Flyers the lead in the ninth.

“We had them late but could not execute to finish it off,” Stone said. “We feel like we let this get away from us.”

Tyler Fielder could be reached at [email protected]