Scott LeSieur and Jared Henry lead the way for UMass Baseball in 11-4 win over UMass Lowell

LeSieur turned in his longest outing of the season


Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

By James DiLuca, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts baseball team has struggled with pitching throughout the course of this season. Opponents hit .298 when facing UMass and also average close to seven runs a game. Against UMass Lowell on Wednesday, the pitchers for the Minutemen found their groove on the mound.

Scott LeSieur started the game for the UMass (15-10-1, 5-1 Atlantic 10) and earned his third win of the season. He went five innings, striking out four and walking four and giving up three runs on seven hits in the 11-4 victory.

“[LeSieur] battled like crazy all day,” UMass head coach Matt Reynolds said. “[LeSieur] came up with some really big strikeouts in some really big spots.”

Prior to the Wednesday afternoon contest, the longest LeSieur had lasted in any of his appearances this season was three innings. The last time the lefty pitched was on April 5 against Harvard, where he gave up four runs over the course of two innings.

LeSieur had a rough start to the game as with one out in the first inning when Gerry Siracusa sent a deep fly ball to left field that cleared the fence. LeSieur settled into the game after Siracusa’s solo shot and worked his way out of multiple jams in the following innings.

UMass Lowell had a chance to tack on some more runs in the top of second, having men on first and second with two outs. With Roddy Hernandez at the plate LeSieur threw a wild pitch, which allowed for the River Hawks baserunners to advance to second and third. After the errant throw LeSieur got back on track and got Hernandez to go down swinging to end the inning.

Jared Henry had not seen action since pitching against Holy Cross on March 22. He came into relieve LeSieur, going three innings and giving up two hits, striking out four. An appearance against Holy Cross was Henry’s only other time out on the rubber this season.

“That’s the best outing [Jared Henry] has had here,” Reynolds said. “He had all three pitches going and he was attacking the zone.”

Henry also displayed the ability to minimize damage. In the 6th inning UMass Lowell started to gain momentum with two outs. Robert Gallagher”s RBI double made the score 9-4 and with runners on second and third the River Hawks were one hit away from making it a two run ball game. Henry stepped up and put an end to the inning as he struck out Siracusa.

With the UMass offense averaging nearly eight runs a game the pitching staff has plenty of run support even when they are struggling. Against UMass Lowell the Minutemen clicked on all cylinders allowing four hits and striking out eight batters while scoring 11 runs. The combined effort of LeSieur and Henry against the River Hawks led to the Minutemen allowing their fewest amount of runs in the past nine games.

“If [LeSieur and Henry] were not ready to go the game could have went in a different direction so I’m proud of those guys and what they did,” Reynolds said.

“Any time they get a chance to prove themselves and they do… more opportunities should follow.”

The Minutemen will head to Kingston to take on Rhode Island in a weekend series that is set to start on Friday at 3 p.m.

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