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 can’t avoid series sweep at home against Davidson

The Minutemen extend losing streak to seven
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian(2023)

The Massachusetts baseball team came into the third game of its series against Davidson still searching for a win, but mental errors allowed a three-game sweep on Sunday.

The Minutemen (4-19,0-6 Atlantic 10) are used to playing from behind this season but in their series against the Wildcats (19-11,5-1 A10), they could not find a way to climb back into the game. On Sunday, UMass found itself in a position for a comeback heading into the seventh inning, leading by a run. In the seventh, though, Davidson put up six runs, making a comeback out of reach for the Minutemen.

UMass left 15 runners on base, not being able to capitalize when batters made their way onto the bases. In the second, the Minutemen had a chance to give themselves a lead early into the game. Carter Hanson led the inning off with a single which was followed by Sam Hill working a walk. Michael Toth dropped a bunt to move both runners into scoring position but Justin Blumenthal’s fly out left them stuck and Zack Zaetta ended the inning on a strikeout.

“We had two opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “We are just trying to do a little bit too much sometimes with guys in scoring position. We’re getting pitched out during those times, starting to chase out of the zone and getting some weak contact so we just got to be better.”

On Saturday, UMass put up its first run of the game heading into the ninth inning on a Hanson home run that put momentum on the Minutemen’s side. The Wildcats tacked on another run in the ninth to add to their 4-3 lead but the Minutemen were not done. Zaetta led off the inning with a walk which was followed by Will MacLean being hit with a pitch. Nolan Tichy worked a four pitch walk to load up the bases for UMass. Not too long after, Zaetta crossed home plate on a Wildcat wild pitch to cut Davidson’s lead.

Mike Gervasi’s ground out in the inning helped MacLean step on home plate, but that was all the Minutemen mustered. Davidson opted to walk Hanson after heating up with a home run and Michael Toth’s fly out to centerfield left the bases loaded and UMass with its second loss of the series.

Hanson’s home run allowed the sophomore to come into Sunday with more confidence. Hanson went 3-4 at the plate on top of two RBI. The outfielder came into the series with a .273 batting average and built on it, ending Sunday with being just below .300. On top of his offense, Hanson has been a bright spot for UMass as the centerfielder. On Saturday, Hanson used his arm to make what could have been a double for the Wildcats into an out for the Minutemen.

Pitching is a spot the Minutemen want to improve on, and in the series the pitching staff could not find their groove. On Sunday, Jack Steele gave UMass four solid innings, giving up two runs but when the Minutemen went to their bullpen, Davidson found a way to tack on runs. Freshman Mikey Jensen in two innings pitched allowed three runs off of three hits. Captain Jack Pawloski was handed the loss after facing four batters and giving up three runs in 0.1 innings pitched. The day ended with a 14-6 loss.

“We can’t give a team like that 11 free passes,” Reynolds said. “Steele did a nice job today doing what he could for us. After that it just spiraled, there were too many free passes.”

On Saturday, Taylor Perrett pitched six innings and gave up three runs to keep UMass in the game. Perrett gave up the hits early and shutout the Wildcats for the rest of his outing. Sam Belliveau follows Perrett with three innings pitched, giving up one run in the ninth.

“We really battled,” Reynolds said. “[Perrett] went down 2-0 real quick and gave up a couple hits but battled back and gave us six innings.”

The Wildcats now hold stand at No. 1 in the A10 rankings with the sweep while the Minutemen sit at No. 12 with having no conference wins. UMass will look for a bounce back against Northeastern on Tuesday, April 11 at Earl Lorden Field with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

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

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