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 defeats UMass Lowell 5-4 Tuesday afternoon

Minutemen pick up eighth win in last nine games
Devin Lippman

The Massachusetts baseball team took its eighth win in nine games as it defeated UMass Lowell 5-4 on Tuesday afternoon. After going down early, the Minutemen (22-23, 11-7 Atlantic 10) battled back to take the lead against the River Hawks (21-25, 10-10 America East) and never looked back.

After an early run in the top of the first inning for the River Hawks, Kevin Skagerlind responded for the Minutemen in the bottom of the third with a solo home run deep to left field to tie the game up 1-1.

The River Hawks came right back in the fourth scoring two runs of their own. The first run came in when Lowell right fielder River Hart doubled down the left field line with two men already on base. The River Hawks scored right after when second basemen Brandon Fish hit a sacrifice fly to center field to build a 3-1 lead. Mikey Jensen came in to replace starting pitcher Andrew Houghton afterwards, closing out the inning giving up no runs or hits.

The Minutemen responded with back-to-back two run innings in the fourth and the fifth to build themselves a 5-3 lead. Matt Travisano and Marc Willi started it off with each recording singles to get runners on base. They advanced to third and second on a bunt, then another bunt by Jake Given allowed for Travisano to score. Willi followed suit, scoring on a Jack Peters’ RBI single to left field.

“Up and down the lineup, everybody contributed something,” head coach Matt Reynolds said. “We found a way to scrape a couple across and get the job done.”

Mike Gervasi started off the bottom of the fifth strong for the Minutemen with a solo home run to left field to secure the lead at 4-3. Travisano and Willi both walked later in the inning, then Zach Zaetta singled to center field allowing for Travisano to score once again for the Minutemen and take a 5-3 lead.

After a solo home run for the River Hawks in the sixth inning, the Minutemen pitching staff gave up no runs in the last three innings of the game to secure the victory.

Matt Travisano was key for the Minutemen in the game. He reached base every time he stepped up to the plate, going 2-2 on the day while also recording two walks.

“[Travisano] was on it today,” Reynolds said. “He got on base every single time. One of the walks I remember, I think he was down 0-2. He fought his way back to 3-2 and took a really tough slider. Hopefully we can get him hot like he was in the beginning of the year, and he’s been trending in that direction.”

The pitching staff had another solid performance overall, with the Minutemen sending five different pitchers to the mound. Andrew Houghton made his first collegiate start for the Minutemen, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out three in his three innings of work.

“I was really proud of the way we pitched it today. I thought Houghton, first college start, came out and was a little shaky in the first inning,” Reynolds said. “But he settled down, found his rhythm, and he battled for us. He got us through three when in the first inning it didn’t look like it was trending in that direction.”

Jensen, Jack Levine, Dylan Terwilliger and Leif Bigelow all took the mound in the final six innings for the Minutemen, combining to allow just one run on four hits while striking out seven.

“Mikey got us out of a jam there and did a nice job with that. Levine battled and did a very nice job, that was probably his best performance of the season,” Reynolds said. “Terwilliger was excellent, two hits and punched out a couple guys. Leif was Leif, he did his Leif thing. He came in and punched a couple guys out and did a really nice job.”

UMass will have a quick turnaround as they travel to North Easton to face Stonehill on Wednesday, May 7. The game starts at 3:30 p.m.

“Anytime you can pitch it, especially against a really good team, they’re going to be a playoff team over there,” Reynolds said. “If you can hold a team like that to four runs in the middle of the week you must have pitched it and hit it very well.”

Irwin Mburu can be reached at [email protected] or @irwinmburu on twitter.

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