Baseball Notebook: UMass halts Siena’s comeback effort in 15-14 win

Wednesday marks the 9th game this season the Minutemen finish with double digit runs

Dylan+Nguyen+%2F+Daily+Collegian

Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian

By James DiLuca, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts baseball team ended its three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 15-14 victory against Siena. Heading into the fourth inning, UMass held a commanding 14-4 lead, but the Saints slowly clawed their way back into the game, outscoring UMass 10-1 in the final six innings of play.

The Minutemen (18-16-1, 6-6 Atlantic 10) blew the game wide open in the top of the third, scoring eight runs in the frame. Kevin Skagerlind started the offensive onslaught with a double into left center field. Following the Skagerlind double, Mike Gervasi and Will MacLean both drew walks to load the bases. Dylan Judd singled to left field, bringing home Skagerlind.

With the bases still loaded Nolan Tichy worked the count and walked home another run for UMass. Aidan Wilde stepped up to the plate and delivered a bases-clearing double to make it an 11-4 ball game. After a Jacob Sloss strike out, Carter Hanson drove in Wilde with an RBI single. MacLean capped of the Minutemen’s third inning scoring by sending a ball straight back up the middle that sent home two more runs.

Siena began its comeback effort in the top of the fourth with an RBI single courtesy of Matt Livingston. The sixth inning saw Siena tack on three runs as Chris Erickson led off the frame with a solo homerun down the left line. UMass’ Jared Henry began to experience control issues as a wild pitch allowed for Brett Young to advance from second to third base. Henry then had another pitch get away from him, allowing for Young to score. The Saints third run of the inning came in the form of a Livingston RBI groundout.

The bottom of the eighth saw Siena erupt for another four runs. Matt Kenney singled up the middle and drove home two. The Saints took advantage of yet another UMass wild pitch, as Kenney, who advanced to third off a Noah Rodriguez single scampered home. Young then sent Rodriguez home with a single to center.

A Dylan Judd RBI single in the top of the eighth proved to be enough insurance as the Minutemen held a 15-10 lead before Siena’s rally.

With the Saints heading into the bottom of the ninth with a chance to tie or win in walk off fashion, Matt Aronson elevated his game for the Minutemen.

The righty got the first out of the inning by forcing Livingston to ground out to second base. Aronson finished out the game by striking out Bryce Mordecki and Vincenzo Castronovo.

Both pitching staff struggled as a combined 29 runs were allowed on 29 hits. UMass went through six pitchers, while the Saints utilized a total of 10 throughout Wednesday’s action.

Cole Koeppel got his second start of the season against Siena but did not last long as after the first inning he was replaced by Tucker Whittman. Koeppel in his lone inning of action gave up four runs on four hits.

Tucker Wittman earned the win for the Minutemen giving up no runs on two hits and striking out one in two innings on the mound. Aronson earned his first save of the season.

Dylan Judd led the way offensively for the UMass going 5-5 from the plate with four RBIs. Luttazi and Hanson each had two hits.

The Minutemen will return to Amherst for a three game homestand against George Mason. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @DiLucaJames.