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 sweeps St. Bonaventure in third straight series win

The Minutemen sweep their second straight Atlantic 10 series
Devin Lippman
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts baseball completed a series sweep over St. Bonaventure, taking all three games with comfort. Game three was moved to Saturday for inclement weather which made it a doubleheader for the Minutemen (21-23, 11-7 Atlantic 10).

The doubleheader, though, did not affect their performance against the Bonnies (15-27, 5-13 A-10) as the Minutemen continue to make a push for the A-10 tournament. UMass currently sits at No. 3 in the A-10 standings.

Game one featured a comeback for the Minutemen after a hot start for the Bonnies in what was a high scoring second inning. After a grand slam for St. Bonaventure to start the second inning as well as another two-run home run, UMass found itself down 6-0 early. The Minutemen responded with a five-run inning of their own in the bottom of the second, with a two-run home run for Braden Sullivan to start it off. Kevin Skagerlind followed with a three-run home run deep to center field for a one run game.

UMass would continue to build on its lead with RBIs for both Carter Hanson and Austin Burgess in the fourth inning to take the lead. Multiple errors for the Bonnies put runners on base for the Minutemen as well as a Jack Beverly score. Burgess would record two more RBI with a ground ball up center field, and the Minutemen would close for a 10-7 victory.

Renn Lints started on the mound, going five innings and giving up six runs and three strikeouts. Zack Given and Leif Bigelow closed out the final three innings allowing one run and striking out three hitters combined.

Game two was a low scoring affair, highlighted by an excellent game for pitcher Robbie O’Connor. O’Connor pitched all nine innings for UMass in game two, allowing four hits and one run while striking out three hitters on the Bonnies.

“He was outstanding, Robbie was awesome,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “Just what we needed here in a nine-nine doubleheader while we’re a little thin pitching-wise…it put us in a comfortable spot for game two.”

Offensively, Sullivan provided three RBIs of the four runs for UMass, including a two-run RBI triple to right center field that scored Beverly and Marc Willi in the seventh inning. UMass would go on to win 4-1.

The Minutemen started off hot in game three and never looked back. Bases were loaded after an error and Nolan Tichy was hit by a pitch in the second inning. UMass would capitalize on these mistakes as Jack Peters kicked things off with an RBI single to midfield. Matt Travisano would score on a passed ball then Peters would also score on another Bonnies error. RBIs by Mike Gervasi and Burgess scored two more runs.

UMass recorded another five RBIs in the fifth inning to stretch its lead. Bases were once again loaded after more errors for the Bonnies, and Travisano recorded an automatic score after Peters was hit by a pitch. Tichy scored on a wild pitch, and Burgess had another two RBIs that sent Gervasi and Michael Toth across home plate. With a 12-3 lead to end the fifth, UMass coasted the rest of the game for a 14-7 victory.

“It’s hard to sweep people and we’ve been able to do that twice in a row,” Reynolds said. “Found a way to win games a couple different ways this weekend. I think we took advantage of some mistakes they made early, they made a couple errors that extended innings for us.”

Justin Masteralexis made the start for game three, allowing three hits, three runs and three strikeouts in five innings. Callen Powers and Mike Jensen each played two of the final four innings, giving up three runs and one run, respectively.

“Justin was good today, he found a way to settle in,” Reynolds said. “We collectively did a good job keeping [the third inning] to only two runs with bases loaded and no outs.”

The third game featured another big day for Burgess, as he went 3-5 on the day for three RBIs and three runs. Burgess was the standout for the weekend with 11 total runs and RBIs across the series.

“They’re starting to get a feeling that things will go right for us,” Burgess said. “Guys are starting to believe and play with confidence. I try to be a spark for them, I love being at the top of the order behind [Skagerlind] having a chance to get things rolling.”

With players like Tichy and Beverly now returning from injury and being eased back into the lineup, the team has been able to build momentum with winning seven of their last eight games.

“It’s kind of a balancing act to get them back in there as we’re getting towards the end,” Reynolds said. “Just try to ease them back in as we try to get them acclimated again but also protect them at the same time and not go too much too soon.”

With Sunday off, UMass now looks forward to its matchup at Earl Lorden Field on Tuesday, May 7th at 3 p.m. against UMass Lowell, as it will be its first of two back-to-back in state battles.

“In hindsight, we can’t stand doubleheaders, but it was probably the best thing for us because we got a full day off tomorrow,” Reynolds said. “We can have a lighter practice Monday and hopefully recover the bodies a little bit. Just trying to keep the momentum going, stay healthy, manage their bodies and keep going uphill at the right time.”

Irwin Mburu can be reached at [email protected]

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