Baseball notebook: UMass baseball falls to No. 15 UConn, 28-11

Both teams combined for 25 runs through three innings

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Maya Geer / Daily Collegian

By Michael Araujo, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts baseball team visited No. 15 UConn on Tuesday and got off to a strong start before the bats fell silent late in the game, resulting in a 28-11 defeat.

UMass’ (16-13-1, 6-3 Atlantic 10) formidable offense got in a groove early on. The team found success finding the gaps in the Huskies’ (29-7, 6-0 Big East) outfield. The Minutemen received solid contributions from each player and piled up base runners, doling out eleven runs on thirteen hits through the first three innings.

Before UConn dominated the latter frames, the Minutemen gave UConn a run for its money. UMass’ bats came out firing in the opening inning, punching in five runs to jump out to a quick 5-0 lead.

Leadoff hitter Cole Hebble was the first Minuteman to cross the plate off a Will MacLean RBI ground out to third. A two-run double to left field by Dylan Judd brought home Drew DeMartino and Kevin Skagerlind. Nolan Tichy put the finishing touches on the inning by sending a two-run blast over the fence, his second home run of the season.

Tichy turned in a solid performance, notching four hits on five at bats with two doubles and a home run. He tallied three RBI’s in the game as well.

The Huskies immediately answered UMass’ hot start with a big frame of their own. UConn scored five runs via an unearned run as a result of an error by right fielder MacLean, a double by Erik Stock to bring home Bryan Padilla and a three-run home run by Ben Huber to tie the game at five.

After a scoreless second inning from both teams, the bats started scorching again. A three-run inside-the-park homerun for Tichy off a line drive to left field, in which the ball snuck underneath the fence, was ruled a ground rule double. The Minutemen benefited from the hit after Steve Luttazi singled through the right side and brought home two runners.

A Hebble double and a MacLean single brought in three more runs and put UMass back on top 11-5 heading into the bottom of the third.

Things quickly went downhill for the Minutemen as UConn scored nine runs in the third to take its first lead of the game, one it would never relinquish. A silent fourth inning for UMass would eventually become the kiss of death, as a six run fourth inning brough the Huskies lead to nine, swinging the momentum back in favor of the home team.

UMass struggled to get its bullpen in order which allowed UConn to score at will. Senior left-handed pitcher Tucker Wittman (0-1) suffered the loss for the Minutemen, giving up eleven runs on eight hits, walking two and striking no one out in one inning of work. UMass’ bullpen failed to contain UConn’s high-powered offense as the Huskies scored 23 unanswered runs.

UConn stabilized its pitching after giving up 11 runs through three innings, and after that it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. Cole Chudoba (2-1) earned the win for the Huskies, pitching five innings and allowing no runs, four hits, walking one and striking out four batters. With this win, UConn extends its winning streak to 10.

UMass has a quick turnaround as it hosts Sacred Heart for a 3 p.m. showdown on Wednesday at Earl Lorden Field.

Michael Araujo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Araujo_Michael_.