UMass baseball’s fourth inning struggles cost them in 8-6 loss to CCSU

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Collegian File Photo

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

By James DiLuca, Collegian Correspondent

The Massachusetts baseball team had to play from behind for the majority of the day as the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils were able to do most of its damage early scoring seven of its eight runs within the first four innings. The fourth inning was where CCSU (2-0) did most of its work as the Minutemen (2-2) gave up five runs.

“They (CCSU) strung a bunch of hits together,” said head coach Matt Reynolds. “I think Kevin (Dow) left a couple pitches in the middle of the plate and to their credit they took advantage, they’re a good hitting team.”

UMass displayed a good amount of its rotation as six pitchers took the field with neither one going over two innings. Kevin Dow had a rough go of it giving up five runs on six hits in the fourth.

Despite being down 7-2 at the end of the fourth inning, UMass was able to get back in the game after a two run sixth inning. Left fielder Collin Shapiro drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 7-3. With the bases still loaded second baseman Eddie Hart hit a sacrifice fly to right field, making the score 7-4.

In the bottom of the sixth the Blue Devils would answer with a Dan Covino inside the park home run. This provided CCSU with some insurance as its lead was extended to four.

UMass made things interesting in the ninth inning with two outs, and two men on base. Shortstop Chris Pearsons sent a ball up the middle driving home two. However, UMass’ rally would come to an end as it proved to be too little too late.

The Minutemen certainly had their opportunities in this one as they left 11 men on base over the course of the game.

“It felt like we were one or two swings away from taking that one,” Reynolds said. “We put ourselves in an ok position to keep battling even though we were down for most of the game.”

Although it was in a losing effort, UMass catcher Mike Gervasi had a great day at the plate going 3-5 with an RBI double in the top of the fourth that drove in two runs. Third basemen Aidan Wilde also exceled at the plate going 2-3 and drawing a walk.

“I was very happy with energy today as well as the fight,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully that becomes a mantra for us that you got to continue to battle for all 27 outs and see what happens.”

The Minutemen now sit at .500 and will look to redeem themselves on the road this Friday at 3 p.m. against Merrimack, who is currently 1-3.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected]