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 drops midweek battle against Quinnipiac

Minutemen lose late game lead
Photo by Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian (2023).

HAMDEN, Conn. — The Massachusetts baseball team couldn’t hold onto a lead late and fell 10-7 to Quinnipiac on Wednesday. The offense and pitching for UMass (10-27, 3-12 Atlantic 10) struggled at multiple points throughout the contest.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Sam Hill walked to put a runner on for Michael Toth. Toth sent a long fly ball deep over the wall in left field for a two-run home run.

“I was just looking for my pitch really,” Toth said. “I was looking for it a little bit up and wanted a line drive but I got under it a little more than expected.”

The homer for Toth was the first of his young collegiate career and the performance against Quinnipiac (18-23, 10-8 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) was one of his best games of the season. He finished 3-4 with two RBIs on the day. Various Minutemen injuries forced Toth to take on a larger role as a freshman.

“[Toth’s] kind of taken over as the starting catcher,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “I think it’ll continue to go two [games] for Toth and one for [Jake] Given as we move forward. [Toth’s] been huge for us.”

UMass took the lead back from the Bobcats in the top of the eighth with a sacrifice fly. Kevin Skagerlind was credited with the RBI after sending a deep fly ball into center field that scored Toth from third. Shortly after, Quinnipiac’s resurgence began in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Four runs came across for the Bobcats and gave them the lead with three runs of insurance.

The Minutemen attempted to make a comeback in the ninth inning down three runs but couldn’t get any across the plate before recording three outs.

UMass got its first runs of the game in the top of the second with one out. With the bases loaded, Jack Peters was hit by a pitch and Skagerlind worked a walk to bring two runners across for the Minutemen.

Peters got the first start of his collegiate career but Ryan Coleman entered the game in the first due to injury. The two players were relied upon with some of the usual starters not being available for the game.

“Coleman and Peters came in and obviously they don’t have a ton of playing time this year,” Reynolds said. “They did a really nice job for us overall. They contributed to the offense as well as doing their jobs defensively.”

Quinnipiac started its scoring in the bottom of the first with a solo home run that grazed the glove of the UMass left fielder at the wall before getting over the fence.

With runners on first and second in the top of the fourth, Will MacLean smacked a line drive into right-center that brought in the runner from second. Nolan Tichy came up next and got an RBI of his own, singling into left-center to score the Minutemen’s fourth run of the game.

The Bobcat’s bottom of the inning started with three singles in a row to load the bases with only one out in the inning. Quinnipiac scored one run courtesy of a walk before recording its third out.

Scott LeSieur got the start for UMass on the mound and he finished his four-inning outing giving up two earned runs on eight hits while tacking on three strikeouts.

The Minutemen pitching struggled at points throughout the contest and couldn’t hold the lead late in the game. Three errors didn’t help UMass pitchers either, with only five of the 10 runs scored for the Bobcats being earned.

“The pitchers didn’t execute their pitches today,” Reynolds said. “15 hits, tons of missed spots all over the place, balls in the middle of the plate and [Quinnipiac] is too good, they’re hitting too well to do that and get away with it.”

The Minutemen look to get back to their winning ways in their upcoming weekend series against Rhode Island. First pitch of the series against the Rams will be Friday, May 5 at 3 p.m. from Earl Lorden field.

“Everyone’s got to do their part and [Wednesday] a few things didn’t go our way, that killed us,” Toth said. “So hopefully this weekend we can put the pieces together.”

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

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