Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass baseball drops two of three to St. Bonaventure

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(Makoto Yabusaki/ Daily Collegian)

(Makoto Yabusaki/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts baseball team went into Sunday’s rubber match of its three-game series with St. Bonaventure hoping to take the deciding game and hit the .500 mark in Atlantic 10 play. UMass failed to hold on to its 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, and the Bonnies (14-11-1, 2-4 A-10) scored five unanswered runs over the final three innings to beat the Minutemen 7-3 and take the series two games to one.

UMass (6-13, 2-4 Atlantic 10) scored single runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings en route to taking a one-run lead into the bottom of the sixth. Junior Dylan Morris singled to score Jon Avallone in the sixth to take a 3-2 lead heading to the bottom half of the inning.

“It’s obviously frustrating,” Minutemen coach Mike Stone said of failing to close out the game. “It was a tight ballgame. We just couldn’t execute in situations to grab the lead, or keep it. Obviously if it’s important to you, you’re going to be disappointed.”

Mike Geannelis, who has three runs batted in and a stellar .429 average since missing the first 15 games of the season due to a team policy infraction, took the hill in relief of starter Justin Lasko in the fifth inning and surrendered three earned runs – two in the sixth inning – and the Minutemen lead in his 2.1 innings of work.

Hunter Carey put UMass in front in the second inning with his sacrifice fly to plate John Jennings. Geannelis, who started the game at first base before shifting to the mound, was walked with the bases loaded in the fifth frame which scored Vinny Scifo, who singled to lead off the inning.

Lasko lasted just 4.1 innings on the mound Sunday afternoon. The freshman from Stratford, Connecticut allowed just one earned run and six hits and struck out one on 53 pitches.

“He wasn’t real sharp today, but he battled,” Stone said of his starter. “It was a back and forth battle by both teams…He gave us a great effort. He just didn’t get too deep in the game for us. It didn’t work out today.”

Minutemen split Friday doubleheader

UMass took game one of the doubleheader with the Bonnies on Friday afternoon, winning 3-2, while falling in the night cap 5-3.

Ryan Moloney was dominant on the mound in the series opener, tossing seven innings of seven hit ball, allowing just two runs and walking one while striking out five on 98 pitches. The junior hurler did not factor into the decision, however, as Kevin Hassett picked up the victory in a spotless eighth inning of relief.

Sophomore outfielder Brett Evangelista launched a solo home run to put the Minutemen ahead in the third inning. Evangelista later doubled for his second hit of the game in the fourth inning and drove in Geannelis for his second run of the game. Geannelis also tallied an RBI for the Minutemen, who had just four hits on the afternoon. Evan Mackintosh came on to slam the door on a possible Bonnie comeback, pitching a scoreless ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season.

In game two, UMass jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings. Junior Mike Hart and Jennings hit back-to-back RBI doubles, with Hart being hit home by Geannelis to end the inning. Hart and Geannelis were the lone Minutemen to have a multi-hit game.

That was all the scoring the Minutemen would muster, however, as St. Bonaventure scored five unanswered runs to take the back end of the double header, 5-3.

Starter Tim Cassidy did not factor into the decision after his stellar performance on the hill. Cassidy allowed a single hit over six innings of work, allowing two runs and striking out a career-high nine batters. Kevin Lacy allowed two runs in just one-third of an inning and was on the losing end of the decision.

UMass will host Central Connecticut (13-16, 6-6 Northeast Conference) Tuesday at Earl Lorden Field for a 3 p.m. start.

Kyle DaLuz can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.

About the Writer
Kyle DaLuz, Managing Editor
The Minutemen were selected to finish 11th in the preseason A-10 polls after missing out on the conference tournament in 2015.
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