Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Baseball starts off the Spring with series win against Navy

Minutemen begin season in a positive way
Maya Geer/ Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts baseball team won its first series of the 2023 season over the weekend against Navy. UMass (2-1) showed strong pitching along with offensive production throughout the three games.

Game one of the series was headlined by a strong pitching performance from the Minutemen. Dylan Terwilliger earned the win in relief going two and two-thirds innings and striking out three batters while allowing zero earned runs.

The start of the game was shaky for UMass, getting down two runs in the third inning. Navy (4-7) tacked on a couple of runs with the first coming in on a wild pitch. Eduardo Diaz singled to left field, scoring Ivan Aguirre and giving the Midshipmen an early 2-0 lead.

Will MacLean started off his offensive production in the series in the top of the fifth with a two-RBI double to right center field scoring Ryan Coleman and Michael Toth to tie the game 2-2.

In the following inning, Coleman homered for the first time in his collegiate career blasting one to right field, scoring Chris Pearsons in the process. This gave the Minutemen a two-run lead that they held onto for a 4-2 win.

Jackson Harrigan earned the save by pitching two innings, striking out one batter and allowing zero hits or runs.

“Harrigan was outstanding,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “Completely lights out.”

UMass took its offensive momentum from the first game of the double header to provide a scoring explosion. A four-run third inning began things for the Minutemen with MacLean again showing his power with a solo shot to right field to start.

Three more runs crossed the plate in the inning with one sneaking in from a wild pitch and the other two coming by walks with the bases loaded.

Taylor Perrett earned the win starting on the mound for the Minutemen, finishing the game pitching five scoreless innings while striking out three and allowing just two hits.

Pitching was a huge focus point for the Minutemen to improve on from last year and multiple different players got some work in.

“Everybody was extremely serviceable,” Reynolds said. “Threw a ton of strikes and for the most part spotted up. That’s what we knew we needed to go into this season. We’re gonna give ourselves a chance to win some games if we can continue that.”

Jacob Sloss scored Carter Hanson and Mike Gervasi, giving the Minutemen a 6-0 lead, but he did not stop there. Sloss tacked on another RBI a few innings later with a single through the right side.

Gervasi joined in on the scoring, doubling in an RBI down the left-field line, and later in the seventh inning, hitting a single again to left field to get his third hit and score his second RBI of the game.

The ninth inning was another high scoring one for the Minutemen adding on four runs of insurance in the final frame.

Hanson and Steve Luttazi both smacked singles up the middle, with each one bringing in an RBI. The additional two runs came from a sacrifice fly and a balk by Navy, to make the final score 14-3 UMass.

Three freshman hitters for the Minutemen got the first hits of their young careers on Saturday. Toth singled to left field in game one for his first. Justin Blumenthal singled through the right side in game two. Sam Hill doubled in his first collegiate plate appearance.

There were also three freshmen pitchers that got to see action for the first time. Dylan Terwilliger, Sam Belliveau and Mikey Jensen all saw their first time on the bump.

“Getting our feet wet and cutting some teeth was good,” Reynolds said. “I just feel really confident in some of the depth that we have and feel like we’ve got some guys that are gonna help us throughout the long season.”

The third game of the series started off fast for both teams, with the first three innings having eight total runs scored.

Luttazi smashed a solo home run deep over the right-center-field wall, giving the Minutemen a one-run lead.

The Midshipmen started the third inning with the bases juiced and no outs. Three runs passed home plate to extend the lead to 6-2.

In the fifth inning, the Minutemen added two runs from a throwing error on a bunt and a sacrifice fly, trimming the deficit down to just two.

The final innings of the weekend was pitched well by both teams with no runs coming across after the fifth. Jack Pawloski came in for UMass in relief and finished the contest with four innings pitched allowing just one hit, zero earned runs and striking out three batters.

Navy took home the win in the final game of the weekend, 6-4.

“Overall, getting two out of three from [Navy] in our first weekend, we gotta walk away happy with that,” Reynolds said.

The Minutemen will travel to Asheville, N.C. to face the Bulldogs in another three-game road series. The first pitch will be on Friday, March 10 at 3 p.m.

Mike Maynard can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @mike_maynard_.

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