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 baseball set to face slumping Boston College

Conor Leblanc Stephen Sellner
Stephen Sellner/Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts baseball team hopes to rebound from a weekend sweep at the hands of Richmond on Wednesday as it travels to Boston College to face a struggling Eagles team.

UMass (3-16) struggled against the Spiders, halting any momentum gained from its first series win of the season against La Salle two weekends ago. The Minutemen are losers of four straight and eight out of their last 10 games.

BC (7-18, 1-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) enters the game on a six-game losing streak and has lost 15 of its last 16 contests. The Eagles have scored more than two runs just once over that span and have averaged a miniscule 1.6 runs per game over their past 10 games.

Despite BC’s offensive struggles, Minuteman coach Mike Stone believes this game will not be an easy one for UMass.

“We have to come out ready to a good, solid ballgame,” Stone said. “We need to be ready and cannot overlook a good ACC team.”

The Minutemen have a chance to end their losing streak against a vulnerable opponent.

“We need to make things happen offensively and execute our game plan,” Stone said. “The pitching is going to have to be good.”

BC ranks last in the ACC in hitting, compiling a team batting average of .227. It also ranks last with just three home runs and 71 RBIs. Logan Hoggarth leads the Eagles with a .276 average while Tom Bourdon leads the team with 12 RBIs.

The Eagles pitching staff has struggled this season as well, combining for a 4.26 ERA which ranks 11th out of 14 teams in the ACC. Opponents are hitting .254 against the BC staff.

“The Eagles have struggled,” Stone said. “But we cannot overlook them, we have to fight.”

UMass also finds itself struggling offensively, posting a team average of .226, good for second to last in the Atlantic 10. In past seasons, the Minutemen have relied almost exclusively on “small-ball” offense and manufacturing runs. But they’ve already belted eight home runs this season, the fifth most in the conference.

Freshman Mike Geannelis has been the driving force for the Minutemen. He leads the team with a .333 average and hit his first collegiate home run this past weekend against the Spiders.

The Minutemen also rank in the bottom half of the Atlantic 10 in pitching. They have a combined 5.92 ERA and an A-10-low 85 strikeouts.

Redshirt sophomore Tim Cassidy is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the Minutemen. He has appeared in four games and has allowed eight runs in 7.2 innings of work.

“Hopefully (Cassidy) can give us some solid innings,” Stone said. “And (then) our offense can back him up.”

UMass has struggled on the road to begin the year, going 2-10. First pitch against the Eagles is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Returning to Earl Lorden Field

The Minutemen will play their first home game this upcoming weekend when conference foe Dayton visits Earl Lorden Field. The team has been subjected to a difficult stretch of weather conditions to start the season, but are excited to finally play at home.

“We finally get our first home game and I know our players are looking forward to that,” Stone said.

Tyler Fiedler can be reached at [email protected].

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