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’ fifth inning surge propels them past Holy Cross, 6-2

The Minutemen scored four runs in the fifth
Adam Rubin/UMass Athletics

After going hitless through the first four innings the Massachusetts baseball team found themselves down 1-0 heading into the top of the fifth.

The Minutemen (7-5) would find their stride offensively picking up three hits in the inning. UMass was also able to capitalize on a few Holy Cross mishaps that proved to be costly for the Crusaders (0-5).

With one out in the top of the fifth, right fielder Michael Rounds got the Minutemen their first hit of the game with a double to center field. Rounds was able to advance to third off a wild pitch. First basemen Steve Luttazi then drew a walk off Holy Cross’s Nate Chudy to put runners on the corners with two outs. Shortstop Chris Pearsons stepped to the plate and hit a timely double to bring home Rounds and tie the game.

UMass then was able to take the lead off a single from center fielder Kevin Skagerlind. With runners on the corners again Chudy threw a wild pitch allowing for a run to score and Skagerlind to advance to scoring position. Holy Cross’s third baseman Max Power proceeded to fire an errant throw to first which allowed for Skagerlind to score.

“We really preach to our guys a lot of times that the game ends up being who gives away more Free 90s than the other team,” said head coach Matt Reynolds. “We were able to get some of those today in the form of dirt ball reads, past ball reads, and walks. When you get free bases you got to be able to turn those into runs.”

The Minutemen continued to take advantage of Holy Cross’s mistakes in the top of the seventh Crusaders pitcher Nick Fletcher threw three wild pitches, one of which allowed UMass third basemen Aidan Wilde to score.

While UMass won the game handedly with a score of 6-2, it left 10 men on base and had an opportunity to tack on some more runs in the top of the sixth. With the bases loaded and just one out in the inning UMass could not capitalize.

“We left a couple on the table today for sure,” Reynolds said. “We had some situations where we really would have liked to see that game where we’re clicking on all cylinders offensively and it really ought to be 10-1, 11-1. We did leave some things on the table, but we did enough to win.”

The Minutemen had their struggles from the plate as a team striking out collectively 12 times. However, Skagerlind, Pearsons, and catcher Mike Gervasi provided an offensive spark each having 2 hits apiece.

“We want to be a team that’s aggressive swinging the bat at our pitches,” said Reynolds.

“But if a team is wild, we want to let them be wild. It was good to see we were able to capitalize on that.”

UMass received great pitching from their bullpen and starter Scott LeSiuer who turned in a quality outing going 3.2 innings giving up one run striking out six.

With this win UMass moves to 7-5 on the season. The Minutemen, who have now won three in a row now, set their sights toward Northeastern who beat them 11-2 in the season opener.

UMass will take the field next on the road at Northeastern, Friday at 3 p.m.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected]

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