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 ends season with a win but suffers defeat in two games against Dayton

Carter Hanson grabs three home runs in the series
Kayla Wong/Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts baseball team won the last game of its season but dropped the first two of the series against Dayton. The last two games came in the form of a doubleheader that featured a senior day celebration before the games began.

The final game of the Minutemen’s (14-35, 6-18 Atlantic 10) season featured a three-run first inning for the Minutemen. A double by both Kevin Skagerlind and Nolan Tichy brought in the first run of the game.

With Tichy standing on second, Carter Hanson hit a high-fly ball over the wall in left field. The two-RBI homer started the game hot for the offense of UMass.

Hanson led off the bottom of the fourth with his second home run of the game. Hanson finished the series with three hits, six RBIs and three home runs against the Flyers (24-32, 15-9 A-10).

“[Hanson] really came on this year,” UMass coach Matt Reynolds said. “For him to come out and establish himself is really good for this year and bodes well for the future. I think there’s more improvement to come. He’s come a long way and it was great to see him have success this weekend and finish [the season] the right way.”

Sam Hill and Skagerlind got RBIs of their own in the fourth. Hill’s came on a single into left field and Skagerlind plated two with a double into left-center.

In his last game, Steve Luttazi got in on the scoring in the bottom of the seventh with a line drive over the wall in right field.

Jack Steele got the start in game three and finished six and two-thirds innings on the mound. He posted a career-high in strikeouts with 12 in his final outing without walking a Dayton batter.

“Steele was great today,” Reynolds said. “He saved his best for last and emptied the tank. He was real good.”

The Flyers homered in the ninth inning, but their comeback attempt was unsuccessful, and UMass took home the 13-6 win to end its season on a high note.

The second game of the series got off to a quick start for the Minutemen. Tichy came up to bat in the first inning and hit a solo home run deep over the fence in center field. The home run was Tichy’s twelfth of the season, tying him for fourth place for most home runs in UMass history.

Hanson pinched hit and pulled a hard-hit ball into right-center field that cleared the wall for a solo home run to make the score 5-2 Dayton.

“The wind was helping me,” Hanson said. “I kind of just stuck true to myself, went back to the basics and tried to put good swings on the ball as much as I could.”

The bottom of the eighth was where the Minutemen began their attempt at a comeback. Down by four runs, Will MacLean came up with a runner on third. He hit an infield single that brought in the run from third.

Tichy followed up with a double down the left-field line that allowed MacLean to score from first. After being advanced to third, Luttazi brought Tichy home to bring the deficit to one run.

UMass didn’t have the offensive production to complete the full comeback, and with the Flyers scoring two runs in the ninth, they took home the win in game two 8-5

Game one of the series was filled with offense from both teams throughout every inning. The teams combined for a total of 46 runs in nine innings. The sixth inning featured the most runs scored by each team, totaling 21 runs within the six outs.

Ryan Coleman came up for the Minutemen in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded. He sent a high flyball over the fence in left-center field for the first grand slam of his career.

Justin Blumenthal achieved a career first of his own in game one. In the third inning, he placed a line drive in the left-center field gap, just past the outstretched glove of the Dayton centerfielder. He made it all the way to third standing up for his first collegiate triple.

The score got away from UMass early, being down throughout the game starting in the top of the first inning.

Pitching and defense were a big issue for the Minutemen in the game with a large number of balls in play for the Flyers and five errors in the field defensively for UMass.

Dayton’s offense was too much for the Minutemen to keep up with. The Flyers held the lead throughout and ended up winning game one 32-14.

It was a bittersweet ending to the season for UMass, but sending its seniors out with a win was what it hoped would happen. Now there will be a long offseason ahead to regroup and prepare for 2024.

“There’s some things we’ve got to get better at,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to reexamine it, and go back, take a breath here, get after it on the recruiting trail and try to just be better next year.”

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

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