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 drops two of three games in series against Fordham

Minutemen can’t build off of one of their most complete games in game one
Kalina Kornacki/Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts baseball team had one of its best games of the season in game one but lost the other two games on the weekend to finish off the series against Fordham.

The third game of the series began with a huge lead for The Rams (19-32, 7-14 Atlantic 10) early. UMass (13-32, 5-16 A-10) found itself down by seven runs by the end of the second inning.

The top of the sixth inning brought some run support for the Minutemen. Jacob Sloss pinch hit with two runners on and sent a double down the right field line to score one run. Kevin Skagerlind scored the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to bring a runner in from third.

UMass began its attempt at a comeback in the third inning with Nolan Tichy singling into center field with two runners on. Tichy continued his hot streak in the series with at least one hit in each game of the weekend.

The early deficit that the Minutemen faced was too much for them to come back from. Even with scoring five runs throughout the game, UMass suffered a 12-5 defeat to begin the series.

“We tried to chip away but [Fordham] did a good job slowly extending the lead over the course of the game,” UMass coach Matt Reynolds said. “They hit us pretty good [in game three]. They had 14 hits in the game. We just didn’t get it done.”

Game two of the series was headlined by 10 runners left on base by the Minutemen. An inability to drive runners in from scoring position created problems for UMass.

Three walks in the fourth inning along with a single by Carter Hanson brought in the first run for the Minutemen. The bases would be loaded to end the inning, with only one run crossing.

In the fifth inning, Fordham exploded for three runs with a pair of RBI doubles. The third run of the inning came from a wild pitch by UMass that brought in a runner from third.

Will MacLean hit his sixth home run of the season into right field in the seventh inning to attempt to spark a comeback for the Minutemen.

“[MacLean’s] been good for us coming of a rough start to the season,” Reynolds said. “Overall, it was a really good series for him. He’s been rock solid for us.”

Max LeBlanc had one of his best performances of the season on the mound in game two. He threw three and two-thirds hitless innings out of the bullpen. Zero runs crossed the plate and he tacked on four strikeouts.

The solo home run from MacLean wasn’t enough to flip the momentum, and UMass didn’t score any more runs past the seventh inning. The Rams took home the win 5-2.

The first game of the weekend started out very fast the Minutemen offensively. UMass scored seven runs before allowing any defensively.

All nine hitters in the lineup got at least one hit for UMass in the contest. MacLean, Tichy and Justin Blumenthal finished with three hits apiece.

Tichy stayed hot hitting his team-leading eleventh home run of the season in the fifth inning. The two-run homer moved him into being tied for ninth on the list of most home runs in a season for UMass.

“[Tichy’s] really been on the ball for us recently,” Reynolds said. “I haven’t been a coach here for a guy with double-digit home runs until him. He continues to improve as the season progresses which has been great.”

Hanson hit a home run of his own in the seventh inning. The deep fly over the right-field wall was his sixth of the season and came with a runner on, giving Hanson two RBIs.

The batter before Hanson was Steve Luttazi who brought in a run of his own just before the home run. A single down the left field line off the bat of Luttazi scored MacLean who had tripled earlier in the inning.

The three-run seventh inning for the Minutemen was followed up by more offense in the eighth. Tichy came up with the bases loaded and got his third hit and third RBI of the game with a single into right field.

Luttazi walked in the next at-bat with the bases still loaded to bring in another run. With zero runs being scored in the ninth for either team, UMass walked away with the win.

Sam Belliveau got the start on the mound and pitched a career-high six innings. He allowed zero runs while striking out three batters.

Renn Lints took over the mound in the seventh and pitched three innings in relief. He earned the first save of his career in the win.

The Minutemen have four games left in the season and will look to bounce back after losing two of three to the Rams. Their next game will be at home against Fairfield. First pitch at Earl Lorden field will be on Tuesday, May 16 at 4 p.m.

“We just have to play well,” Reynolds said. “We’re looking for good solid performances in all phases. We’re going to be playing some good teams here at the end. We have to play well to finish of the year with some wins.”

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


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