UMass baseball loses to to Boston College in Beanpot Championship

Three Minutemen pitchers allowed at least three earned runs

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Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

By Judah Katz, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts baseball team was outdueled by Boston College by a score of 14-10 in the Beanpot Championship on Tuesday. UMass [14-10-1, 5-1 Atlantic 10] gave up 14 runs on 12 hits to the Eagles (15-18, 3-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) in an afternoon thriller.

Boston College opened up the top of the first inning with a double by Travis Honeyman, who later on was cashed into home on a single to right field by Joe Vetrano.

The following inning Will MacLean led off with a double to center field and ended up making his way to third on an error by the center fielder. He got knocked in on a sacrifice fly to right field by Nolan Tichy, which tied the score at one apiece.

After a run-of-the-mill top of the third, UMass unleashed a slew of hits that broke the game open in the bottom of the inning. The Minutemen recorded six runs on six hits and took a commanding 7-2 lead heading into the fourth.

The Eagles responded the following inning, with two runs of their own on only one hit. UMass’ starter Max LeBlanc allowed three free passes in the bottom of the fourth, which foreshadowed the entire staff’s continuous struggle to keep runners off base.

In the top of the fifth inning, BC continued to chip away at UMass’ lead. Scoring two more runs on one hit, for a second straight inning, the Eagles cut the deficit to a run. Errors and walk haunted the Minutemen for the rest of the afternoon, and the fifth inning was the start of a slip in control by UMass pitching.

After the Minutemen added another run to the board in the bottom of the fifth off an Aidan Wilde RBI double to right center, the Eagles shifted momentum.

Over the next four innings, BC scored eight runs on six hits and three walks. The seventh inning saw the Eagles take a 10-8 lead over the Minutemen, from wild pitches and clutch situational hitting.

The next half inning for UMass was chaos. In the top of the eighth, the Eagles scored four runs on three hits, extending their lead 14-8. The Minutemen found themselves letting Eagles on base without much of a fight with walks to two Eagle batters through hit by pitches.

The Minutemen scored two more runs over the last two innings, but their efforts at a comeback were cut short. BC struck out Minutemen hitters to stop any chance of hits being strung together.

UMass’ pitching staff hit six Eagles in the game, showing a temporary lack of control over the strike zone. Allowing runners on base through walks and hit batters can cripple a pitcher’s confidence, and the pitching staff seemed hesitant to throw pitches in places where its opponents could do damage.

One bright spot for the Minutemen was their offensive production. All season long, they have maintained a high On-base Plus Slugging (OPS), and Tuesday’s run tally continued that trend. Heading into the second half of the season, UMass’ offense will be on watch for adding on with more slugging and hitting.

The Minutemen head back home to play UMass Lowell this Wednesday. First pitch is at 3 p.m.

Judah Katz can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @judah_katz.