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

Eighth inning sends UMass baseball to a 12-3 win over Sacred Heart

Minutemen score nine runs in the inning
Devin Lippman

The Massachusetts baseball team’s eighth inning sent it to a 12-3 win over the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Wednesday at Earl Lorden Field.

The Minutemen (12-20, 3-6 Atlantic 10) took advantage of the Pioneers (18-16, 14-4 Northeast Conference) struggling pitching and defense. To start off, Michael Toth worked a 3-1 walk to give UMass a runner. Then, redshirt junior Kyle Hoog dropped a bunt that looked to be an out but on an error by the first basemen, Hoog got on base. Jack Peters followed with another bunt that advanced the runners into scoring position.

“We put some really good swings on pitches that [the Pioneers] left in the middle of the plate,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “Just trying to get good pitches to hit and being aggressive, it was good to see.”

Matt Travisano was the first one to score a runner on a single. Kevin Skagerlind then dropped a bunt that got him on base and scored Hoog. With a two-run lead, the Minutemen did not stop there. Austin Burgess hit a home run to left center for a three-run home run that continued the momentum from UMass.

“The first two pitches, he was kind of a funky guy, he was hard to pick up,” Burgess said on his at-bat. “I got to two strikes, and I had come up in some spots earlier with guys on and hadn’t cashed in and was just trying to be tough. Swing wasn’t feeling great the rest of the day but got a good swing on an 0-2 pitch and then the rest is history.”

Jack Beverly and Michael Toth also hit home runs of their own after Burgess to score nine total runs in just a single inning. The home run was Toth’s first of the year and Beverly’s fifth.

Hoog launched his first home run as a Minuteman in the fourth inning. With UMass, down by one, Hoog’s home run tied up the game and brought some life back into the Minutemen.

“We talked before that at-bat and he was kind of a little too aggressive, he had gotten himself out in the first or second pitch of previous at-bats going back to the weekend as well,” Reynolds said about Hoog. “We just wanted him to be a little bit more patient and luckily that was the fourth or fifth pitch of that at-bat.”

Mike Gervasi had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with an RBI and a double. Gervasi is now hitting .303 after starting the day at .284. In his five years at UMass, the graduate student is currently playing at his best.

“I was just trying to think to hit the ball to right center [field]’,” Gervasi said. “I have been spun a lot this year so [I] was just expecting that early so I was just trying to see the ball deep and go the other way, it helped.”

Left-handed pitcher Justin Masteralexis kept UMass in the game for all seven innings he pitched as the starting pitcher. He gave up three hits and two walks, allowing three runs. Masteralexis had six strikeouts on 25 batters faced, being a challenge for the Pioneers’ offense.

Zack Given was given the win after he came into the game after Masteralexis’ big outing. In an inning pitched, he gave up just one hit and had a strikeout. To close out the game, Dylan Terwiliger in the ninth walked two and allowed a hit but got out of the inning without allowing a run.

“We would have loved to give Masteralexis the win, he deserved it there,” Reynolds said. “He was just really, really good…He just did a great job and Given was great.”

The Minutemen will head back on the road, taking on George Mason in a three-game series on Friday, April 19. First pitch for the first game is set for 3 p.m.

“The offense, we are slowly getting back to where we were, there’s still some work to do but this gives us some confidence heading into the weekend with being able to have 18 hits and 12 runs,” Reynolds said.

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

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