Baseball notebook: UMass baseball trounced by VCU

Rams outscore the Minutemen 50-6 across three games

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Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

By Michael Araujo and James DiLuca

The Massachusetts baseball team was unable to secure a win in its series against VCU as it lost 6-1 on Senior Day on Sunday, capping off three straight losses on the weekend.

UMass (20-24-1, 7-14 Atlantic 10) tallied its first run of the game and its first lead of the weekend series when Will MacLean grounded out to first, plating Cole Hebble. The first inning run would be the only one of the day for the Minutemen.

Zach Clevenger was the first pitcher to take the mound for UMass. He allowed the Rams three earned runs in four innings and tossed three strikeouts. Jack Pawloski entered the game in the fifth inning and allowed one run on one hit in two innings, as well as three strikeouts of his own. Matt Aronson closed the game out, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out four.

The Minutemen’s fielding was effective early on in the contest. Nolan Tichy showed off his athleticism when he laid out to make a diving catch in right field to end the 1-2-3 second inning.

Aidan Wilde followed up the spectacular play by performing one of his own as he made an over-the-shoulder catch to retire VCU batter Logan Amiss for the third out in the top of the 3rd inning. The catch came after the Rams tallied its first run of the game when Ben Nippolt doubled to right center, bringing home Jacob Selden.

VCU gained the lead in the fourth inning after Will Carlone sent a ground ball in between the gap in first and second base and just out of reach of second baseman Drew DeMartino, plating Connor Hujsak.

With two outs and bases loaded in the seventh inning, Aronson stole away the Rams huge scoring opportunity as Cooper Benzin struck out swinging at a breaking ball. Benzin would go on to get the last laugh, however, as his next opportunity at the plate resulted in a 2 RBI single for VCU.

UMass suffers back to back blowouts

Saturday’s contest saw VCU impose its will from the plate and from the mound en route to a comfortable 18-3 win. The Rams did most of their damage early on, scoring 14 runs in the first four innings of the game.

Tyler Locklear led the way offensively going 4-5 with 6 RBI and a home run. Logan Amiss also chipped in for VCU going 3-5 from the dish with three RBI. Scott Lesieur suffered his first loss of the season giving up nine runs on 11 hits in two innings of work.

UMass broke the Rams shutout in the bottom of the 7th scoring three runs in the frame. Carter Hanson drove in UMass’ first score on an infield single.

Maddison Furman earned his fourth win of the season going three innings giving up zero runs on two hits while striking out a pair of batters.

A similar game script occurred for the Minutemen on Friday as they struggled on both sides of the ball, allowing VCU to win handedly, 26-2.  The Rams 26-run explosion marks the second time in the last five games that UMass has allowed over 25 runs to an opponent. VCU jumped on the Minutemen early tallying 12 runs in the 1st inning. Kevin Dow started on the mound for the UMass but was pulled after a third of an inning in which he gave up eight runs on six hits.

Cooper Benzin had a game for the ages for VCU, going 4-5 with three homers and seven RBIs. In the top of sixth Benzin cleared the bases with a grand slam. Tyler Locklear continued his stellar hitting, as the Rams’ first basemen went 4-5 with five RBIs.

UMass was unable to get going on the offensive end, mustering two runs on six hits. The bottom of the third saw Colin Shapiro drive in Nolan Tichy with an RBI single to left field. A Steve Luttazi sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth drove in Cole Hebble.

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

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