Big seventh inning launches UMass to series-opening win over George Washington

Offense explodes for eight runs in the seventh

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Big seventh inning launches UMass to series-opening win over George Washington

Joe Frank

Joe Frank

Joe Frank

By Frederick Hanna III, Collegian Staff

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It was an offensive explosion that paved the way for a win for the Massachusetts baseball team in the opening game to start the weekend series versus George Washington.

UMass (9-16, Atlantic 10 4-6) broke through for eight runs in the seventh inning en route to an 8-0 win, their fifth in sixth games.

“Their starter did a really nice job, and we just kept at it and didn’t get ourselves down,” coach Matt Reynolds said. “We knew that we were going to get to him at some point.”

The Minutemen had four batters who had multi-hit games. Outfielder Nolan Kessinger started the scoring off for UMass when he knocked in two runners in the seventh inning with the bases loaded. From that point on the scoring didn’t stop for the Minutemen. The Minutemen took advantage of sloppy play from GW (20-14, 4-6 A-10), an accumulation of wild pitches and walks that brought home three runs.

Senior Logan Greene finished three for four with three hits and scored a run. Although he ended with no RBIs to his credit, Greene was a tough out at the plate for the Colonials.

“I was trying to stay short and up the middle, and put the ball in play,” Greene said. “I thought everybody did that today. Everybody was staying short trying to put the ball in play, and it worked out for us.”

For the Minutemen, senior Justin Lasko got the nod to start the first game of the series, and he was dominant all game. The righty went the full distance giving up only four hits and striking out seven in less than one-hundred pitches. Lasko found himself sitting in the dugout for a while during the bottom of the seventh when the Minutemen were pilling on runs, and even warmed up in the bullpen twice to stay loose.

“Waiting a long time is always a good thing because it means you’re scoring a lot of runs, but at some points you’re like ‘alright guys, come on that’s enough,’” Lasko said jokingly.

GW threw righty Elliott Raimo, who was cruising through UMass hitters right alongside Lasko until the Minutemen got to him in the sixth. Raimo ended up going 5 2/3 innings pitched, allowing no runs. After UMass loaded the bases in the sixth, a pitching change for righty Keagan McGinnis paid off, as he set down the Minutemen without allowing a run.

For a good part of the game, the Minutemen found themselves in a deadlock of a pitcher’s duel between Lasko and Raimo. Greene knew that the guys felt good about themselves.

“The energy that we got going on is excellent,” Greene said. “We are never out of the game. We have been popping off four, five runs in one inning multiple times the past couple weeks. It’s awesome to see that.”

The Minutemen return to action tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Earl Lorden Field.

Frederick Hanna III can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter at @FrederickHIII.