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

Carter Hanson a bright spot in the UMass lineup

Hanson goes 3-4 at the plate on Saturday
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian(2023)

Even when things are not going the Massachusetts baseball team’s way, Carter Hanson has been a consistent player for the Minutemen (5-21, 1-7 Atlantic 10) this season.

On Saturday, Hanson was one of UMass’ best players in its first conference win of the season against Richmond (15-20, 4-4 A-10). The sophomore went 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs to top off his day. Two of the hits went for extra bases, with a home run and a double.

Hanson’s first hit of the day was the home run that brought some momentum to the Minutemen when they needed it most. Will MacLean had the first home run of the day to put UMass on the board in the third inning. Hanson, though, started off scoring in the fourth, the inning that led to the Minutemen gaining their first lead of the game.

Steve Lutazzi started the inning off with a leadoff single to left field to get on base for Hanson who has had a hot bat as of late. With the second pitch he faced, the sophomore took a big swing at the ball that landed behind the fence. The home run made the score 5-4 and started off the four-run inning.

“I thought I did a good job,” Hanson said. “Just competing at the box, that’s all you can ask for to put ourselves in a position to win the game.”

Hanson did not stop at the home run, getting an extra base hit in the seventh. The play started the same way with Lutazzi making his way to first base. On the first pitch, Hanson doubled to center field but the play did not stop there. Due to a fielding error, he used his base running to get to third, also scoring Luttazi to extend UMass’ lead.

Saturday tied Hanson for his season lead in hits with three, his last three hit game being less than a week before against Davidson on April 9.

The sophomore has been a player opposing team’s pitchers do not want to face when he comes up to bat. With his offensive and defensive performance, UMass coach Matt Reynolds has praised him throughout the season.

“It’s been fantastic,” Reynold said about Hanson’s growth. “He’s grown defensively, he’s a much better defender than he was last year. Offensively, even from this year to last, he’s taken huge strides as far as his approach.”

The Minutemen have struggled on the field to grab balls, but Hanson continues to have one of the best fielding percentages on the team. With seeing the most time in the outfield, he has a .985 fielding percentage but most games he had had a 1.000 fielding percentage. His one tough fielding day came against a hot Boston College team where he dropped the ball.

Last year, the outfielder did not see consistent time in the lineup, playing 15 games in the 2022 season. This year, he has been an everyday player for the Minutemen, improving every day for them. Reynolds believes that Hanson has a chance to become an even better player this season.

“It good to have coach’s confidence and just pushing that towards everyone else,” Hanson said.

With his approach and confidence, Hanson is currently batting .322, putting him at second for the team lead in batting average, with Lutazzi hitting .400 on the season.

Hanson will look to continue his offensive dominance against Richmond again on Sunday, April 16 in hopes of winning the series.

“Felt good to get the bat going, pitching really well and that’s all we can ask for,” Hanson said on the win.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kaygregoire.

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