Baseball notebook: UMass swept by Davidson in weekend series

Minutemen give up 45 runs on 52 hits

Dylan+Nguyen%2F+Daily+Collegian

Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian

By Judah Katz, Collegian Staff

It was a weekend to forget for the Massachusetts baseball team, which traveled to North Carolina for a series with Davidson, only to be swept handedly by the Wildcats (37-9, 15-3 Atlantic 10). The Minutemen gave up 52 hits and 45 runs in three games.

Davidson shuts the door on a UMass comeback

Game one of the series was the closest the Minutemen (20-21-1, 7-11 A-10) ever got to winning a game. The Wildcats opened up the weekend with a two-run bottom of the first, on a Jacob Hinderleider 2-RBI single to left field. They would extend their lead over UMass in the bottom of the second inning on homers by John Hosmer and Michael Carico.

By the fifth inning, Davidson had a commanding 5-0 lead over the Minutemen. Some teams would fold under the mounting pressure of an ever-increasing lead, but UMass bared down and fought back.

The Minutemen pitching staff was able to shut down the Wildcats for the remaining four innings of the ballgame. Blake Bennett and Ben Chrzanowski came out of the UMass bullpen and remained effective, allowing only three hits over that span.

The Minutemen cut the lead all the way down to 5-3, making the game tense and competitive in the closing frames. The top of the ninth inning started off promising for the visiting team. Nolan Tichy led off with a walk, which seemed like the start of a rally to tie the game with UMass’ backs against the wall.

The Wildcats’ Bennett Flynn then got Minutemen hitters to record three straight outs to end the game, leaving Tichy on base and keeping the score locked at 5-3.

Wildcat offense overpowers the Minutemen

Game two of the series was far different the first contest despite the overall outcome ending in the same way. UMass failed to score a single run in the game, being shut out with only three hits. Davidson had a very opposite stat line. Scoring a season high 28 runs, the Wildcats dominated from start to finish. They recorded 25 hits, including four home runs and four doubles. They also tallied a whopping 27 RBIs.  Some notable performances included four-hit days from Jacob Hinderleider and Henry Koehler, and three-hit days from Michael Carico and Parker Nolan.

The game started off in dramatic fashion, seeing the Wildcats score seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. There were five hits in that frame alone, which set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. The Wildcats scored six runs in the bottom of the third inning, including a three-run blast by the red hot Jacob Hinderleider, who would finish the day with two home runs.

The bottom of the fourth inning was something of an offensive explosion. Davidson scored nine runs on eight hits, and three hit batters. The Minutemen plunked a season-high nine Wildcat hitters on the afternoon.

The bottom of the fifth inning was no improvement over the previous for the visiting Minutemen. Davidson scored an additional five runs on four hits, including two home runs.

From the sixth inning on, neither team scored any additional runs. Players were subbed in and out to get playing time as the game was far out of reach for the Minutemen. As the final out was made, the scoreboard read 28-0.

Game three of the series did not prove to be any more fruitful for the Massachusetts club. They did, however, start the game off on a positive note. In the top of the first inning, Cole Hebble doubled to left field, scoring Colin Shapiro to open up the day at 1-0.
The Wildcats quickly responded on a Parker Nolan three-run missile to left field, though, and after one inning Davidson was up 3-1.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Wildcats continued to pile on runs, scoring four on two hits. Michael Carico added on o his exceptional weekend with a two-run homer to center field. After just two, the score read 7-1.

Over the following four innings, the Wildcats increased their run total to nine, while the Minutemen could only score an additional run. In the top of the seventh inning, UMass cut the lead to 9-3 on a Colin Shapiro RBI-single to first base, scoring Nolan Tichy.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Wildcats would put the game out of reach. Scoring three runs on four hits, they increased their lead to 12-3, which would remain the score for the rest of the afternoon.

There weren’t many bright spots for the Minutemen over the weekend, who struggled both offensively and defensively. The Massachusetts pitching staff gave up 52 total hits for an average of 17.3 per game over the weekend. They could only muster 14 hits of their own over that stretch, which was dwarfed by their opponent.

UMass will continue its season in a three-game home series against VCU. First pitch is scheduled on Friday at 3 p.m.

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