Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass baseball gives up 17 runs in series finale to Saint Joseph’s

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(Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)

At the end of three innings any Massachusetts baseball fan watching the game at Earl Lorden Field Sunday afternoon would have thought the Minutemen were well on their way to salvaging the last game of the three-game series against Saint Joseph’s.

UMass (7-17, 2-7 Atlantic 10) had a 5-4 lead over the Hawks (17-14, 6-3 A-10) and it looked as if its bats had woken up from two-day slump.

Then the top of the fourth came and everything changed.

The Minutemen would go through three pitchers in that inning – starter Tim Cassidy, Mike Geannelis and Kevin Lacy – and along the way the trio would give up eight runs. That put St. Joes up 12-5, and the Hawks never looked back as they completed the three-game sweep with a  17-7 win.

Despite his pitchers giving up 17 runs, UMass coach Mike Stone was happy with how his pitchers battled in Sunday’s contest.

“The guys came out excited to play and they pitched their butts off, but they just got beat up a little today,” Stone said. “That happens occasionally, but they didn’t quit and we’ll bounce back and show up next time we play.”

“All the pitchers know what they need to work on,” Geannelis said after giving up five runs (one eared) in 2/3 innings pitched. “They’re a good hitting team. Personally I was getting behind in counts and not attacking hitters. We all need to work to be better.”

Offensively, the trio of left fielder Cal Jadacki, right fielder John Brue and first baseman Charlie Concannon paved the way for St. Joe’s. Jadacki led the team with two home runs and five runs batted in on the day, while Brue added a homer of his own – his seventh of the season – and Concannon finished with three hits and three RBIs of his own.

The Minutemen came out with a much stronger offensive performance than the first two games of the series, where they combined for only two runs. John Jennings led UMass with three hits on the day, along with two RBIs. Three other Minutemen (Brett Evangelista, Mike Hart and Geannelis) all had two hits in the game.

“We stayed back and hit the ball the opposite way well today,” Hart said. “A lot of guys stayed after (practice) yesterday to take some swings and got better because this was a big game and I think those results showed today.”

The small things

A big problem that plagued UMass Sunday was the smaller miscues that led to a series of Hawks runs.

Of the seven pitchers the Minutemen used during the day, five of them surrendered a walk. On top of that, they had six wild pitches in the game, as opposed to the zero the St. Joes pitching gave up.

The defense did no favors for their pitching either as UMass finished with three errors. The Minutemen had at least one error in every game of the series with the Hawks.

“It’s just extra outs and extra bases,” Stone said. “Whenever you give up those, it makes it very difficult to win games.”

Hart added: “We had a cat and dog fight up there for a while and then one big inning cost us. It’s huge to put it together on both ends. That is the only way we will be successful is if we do that.”

Adam Aucoin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @aaucoin34.

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