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 wins one of three games in series against Richmond

The Minutemen take home first conference win of the season
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian(2023)

The Massachusetts baseball team took home one win in a three-game series against Richmond. Both offenses were on full display with 44 runs scored by the two teams over the weekend.

Game three of the weekend started off very fast offensively with seven runs being scored before the teams combined for six outs.

The Spiders (16-20, 5-4 Atlantic 10) began the top of the first with a four-run inning. The runs came from an RBI double, a two-run home run and an RBI single. UMass (5-22, 1-8 A-10) was quickly faced with a four-run deficit before coming up to the plate.

The Minutemen came up in the bottom of the inning and scored three runs to slim the deficit to one. Carter Hanson singled into left-center to score the first run, and Mike Gervasi doubled shortly after over the head of the Spiders centerfielder for a two run RBI double.

Mikey Jensen came out of the bullpen and threw three innings of scoreless baseball to attempt to keep UMass in the game. The performance in game three along with another scoreless inning in game one made for four total throughout the series with two strikeouts.

“I was just getting ahead of guys,” Jensen said. “[My] off-speed was good, slider mostly, and [my] fastball command was pretty good. Everything was kind of working this weekend.”

Jensen had struggled in his previous outing against Davidson but rebounded to finish with a more productive series against Richmond.

“It’s good for me to pitch again like that,” Jensen said. “But I mean, when we can win a game instead of lose three in a row, it’s obviously better for the team.”

The Minutemen scored two runs in both the eighth and ninth, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback as the final score of game three was 15-7 Spiders.

Richmond got off to an early start again offensively in the second game of the series. A three-run home run in the second followed by a solo shot in the third put the Spiders up 4-0.

UMass found itself behind again and started its comeback in the third. Will MacLean came up to bat with a runner on and pulled a line drive down the right field line. The ball smashed into the foul pole for a two-run home run.

The home run parade for both teams didn’t finish there as Richmond added another solo home run in the top of the fourth to quiet down the Minutemen’s resurgence. The bottom of the inning continued the scoring. Hanson sent a long fly ball over the right-center field wall for a two-run home run.

Kevin Skagerlind came up to bat later in the same inning with two runners on and placed a double down the left-field line, scoring both base runners and giving UMass the lead in the process.

Skagerlind finished the game going 3-5 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. He played a crucial role in the team finding a way to put runs on the board in one of his better games of the season at the plate.

“Baseball is hard,” Skagerlind said. “I got kind of lucky with a couple of choppers, but putting the ball in play, sometimes good stuff happens, and I guess it did [Saturday].”

In the fifth inning, the Minutemen continued to get runners on base. With runners on the corners, Justin Blumenthal poked a single up the middle, scoring the runner from third. UMass added to its lead in the seventh with Hanson staying hot and sending a double into right-center field to score a runner from first.

The Minutemen finished with 14 hits, tying their second-most hits of the season in game two of the series. The offensive explosion resulted in a nine-run day for UMass.

“It was a good day to hit,” Skagerlind said. “It was humid, and the wind was blowing out. Richmond’s arms are pretty good, but I think we had really good two-strike approaches. We weren’t striking out as much as usual.”

Max LeBlanc played a large role in the lead being held, pitching four scoreless innings in relief, tacking on four strikeouts and getting the win in the process.

The Minutemen struggled to get offense going in game one. The Spiders pitching kept the Minutemen in check through the ninth inning. Richmond took home the 6-2 win to start off the series on top.

The weekend saw UMass have some ups and downs, but in the end, it came out with its first win in A-10 conference play of the season.

UMass will look to build off of the win in game two into its next game against Sacred Heart on Wednesday, April 19. First pitch against the Pioneers will be at Veteran’s Memorial Park at 3 p.m.

“There’s been a couple of games that we’ve played well enough to win and not won,” Reynolds said. “It feels good to do everything well and have some good results. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to [Sunday] but it’s absolutely good to get one.”

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

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