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 scatters only four hits in second consecutive loss to Saint Joseph’s

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

On what was a picture perfect day for baseball Saturday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field, the result for the Massachusetts baseball team was anything but ideal, as the Minutemen dropped their second consecutive contest of the three game series with Saint Joseph’s, 6-1.

UMass (7-16, 2-6 A-10) was up against a dominant performance on the mound from the Hawks’ Tim Brennan. The freshman right hander went the distance, striking out eight and allowing just five hits – one being a John Jennings solo home run deep to left field for the only Minutemen run of the day. UMass did not tally a hit through the first four innings, and it took Mike Geannelis’ one-out double in the fifth to break up Brennan’s perfect game.

“(Brennan) pitched well, you have to give him credit,” Minutemen coach Mike Stone said. “He was pitching real well. We just didn’t compete enough at the plate. We need to do more. We need to work some walks, we need to get hit with it, we need to try and bunt for a base hit. There’s a lot of things that you can do when you’re not swinging (the bat well) that we didn’t even try to do. It (was) a struggle.”

“The past three games or so, I feel like we’ve kind of changed our approach a little bit overall, me included,” Jennings added. “We’ve been swinging at a lot of low curveballs, changeups early in the counts and we’ve been getting down a lot. We’ve been down 0-2 and it’s always tough at this level when you’re down 0-2, pitchers have the upper hand. I think we need to start limiting the amount of at bats that we go down 0-2 and try and work them a little bit more – foul some more balls off and when you get a good pitch you just have to hit it.”

On the other side, UMass’ Justin Lasko went just 4.2 innings after being on the wrong end of infield miscues. St. Joe’s (16-14, 5-3 A-10) drew first blood in the third inning on a throwing error from shortstop Vinny Scifo – his second throwing error of the day – that sailed over the head of Geannelis, scoring Peter Sitaras from second base. After striking out the first two batters in the fifth, Lasko allowed a walk and three consecutive base hits to bring in three runs that ended his day.

“Those are plays that we think we should make, that we expect to be outs,” Stone said of the throwing errors from Scifo. “Those need to be made if you’re going to have a chance to win. If you don’t, it’s just more runs tacked on and it makes it more difficult to come from behind. That doesn’t help, obviously.”

Lasko allowed seven hits on 104 pitches in the loss. The freshman walked two, hit a batter and struck out six before being pulled for Kevin Hassett, who pitched 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs.

“I thought (Lasko) pitched well until he got two outs in the fifth (inning),” Stone said. “He got in trouble fast and it disintegrated on him real quick, which was unfortunate because I thought he pitched well. He gave us a chance to win up until he came out of the game.”

Jennings and Geannelis each had two hits in the middle game of the series, with Brett Evangelista getting the lone other hit for the Minutemen. Ben Panuzio pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning in his relief outing.

UMass will close out the three game set with the Hawks Sunday at 12 p.m. at Earl Lorden Field.

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

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