UMass baseball puts up 16 runs to take down Quinnipiac

Minutemen take advantage of careless pitching

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UMass baseball puts up 16 runs to take down Quinnipiac

(Joe Frank/Daily Collegian)

(Joe Frank/Daily Collegian)

(Joe Frank/Daily Collegian)

(Joe Frank/Daily Collegian)

By Frederick Hanna III, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts baseball team continued its strong play of late with a dominant offensive performance Wednesday to lead it to a 16-9 victory over Quinnipiac.

The Minutemen (14-19) took advantage of the weak pitching from the Bobcats to put up 16 runs on the 13 free passes that they were awarded.

“We walked quite a bit today,” said UMass coach Matt Reynolds. “Quinnipiac is a good team, they are doing pretty well in conference, and obviously they didn’t pitch great today. We did a nice job of making sure that we were swinging at our pitches and not getting ourselves out.”

On the mound for Quinnipiac was righty Derek Goldrick, who only lasted an inning where he gave up five runs to go with four walks and four hits.

On the other side, the Minutemen threw Daniel Livnat, who went his longest outing of the season, going six and a third innings pitched. Although the lefty gave up six earned runs, his performance kept UMass from using arms in the bullpen. Livnat only walked two and had four strikeouts in his outing.

“He just grinded for us,” said Reynolds. “He didn’t have his best stuff, the command wasn’t great, but he just pitched through it and luckily we were able to jump out to a big lead which kind of allowed him the chance to continue to grind through it.”

Trailing by one in the second inning, the Minutemen offense got started when centerfielder Luke Oliphant laid a bunt down the third base line, scoring two runs. The centerfielder scored on a wild pitch which gave UMass the early lead in the bottom of the second. The Minutemen would bring in two more runs that inning off of a bases loaded walk and hit by pitch.

“Coming off of last weekend in Maine, I think me and a lot of the other guys on the team are feeling comfortable at the plate, seeing the ball well,” said Oliphant. “I know my game, and regardless of who we are playing I am never going to switch that, I am going to play small ball. I am going to use my speed and try to get on the bags and just do what I can to set the table for the top-middle of the lineup.”

To go along with Oliphant’s key production at the plate, UMass received a strong game from Eddy Hart, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. The junior extended the UMass lead in the bottom of the third to six runs with a two-run single.

“I felt pretty good,” said Hart. “I just tried to get a good pitch [on his single] to drive it. I basically had a middle to opposite field approach and just tried to get the guys in.”

For UMass, it stayed patient at the plate which proved to be key to its victory versus Quinnipiac.

“I think one through nine we are fully confident in every guy who gets up to the plate, and with that there just looking to get a good pitch and drive it,” said Hart. “Our guys did a good job laying off and just trying to get one bag at a time. One through nine everyone did their thing.”

The Minutemen head on the road again for a weekend A-10 series at La Salle. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. on Friday.

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