AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts baseball led early, but Holy Cross’ three-run fifth helped the Crusaders spoil UMass’ home opener with a 6-3 setback on Tuesday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. Following the loss, the Minutemen are now 3-8 on the season, while Holy Cross moves to 6-12.
A two-out solo home run to right field by Thomas Russo put the Crusaders out in front, 1-0, in the top of the second inning.
UMass promptly responded by scoring twice in its next turn at bat to climb on top, 2-1. With senior Vinny Scifo and freshman Ryan Lever on base via a single and a walk, sophomore Brett Evangelista knocked a two-run single up the middle to plate the pair.
However, Holy Cross pulled back in front, 4-3, with three runs on three hits and one error in the top of the fifth. With two away, Josh Hassell bounced a single through the left side that plated Travis Cloney and Anthony Critelli followed with a base hit that knocked in Nick Lovullo and Hassell after the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch.
The Crusaders went on to add a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Kellen McCormick led off with a double to right and the next batter, Travis Cloney, hit a two-run homer that pushed the score to 6-3.
Freshman Casey Aubin took the loss (0-2) in his start for UMass as he allowed four runs on six hits over 4.2 innings, while walking two and striking out three. Zach Fox collected the win (1-1) for Holy Cross. Over 5.1 innings he allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Sean Gustin worked a hitless ninth for the Crusaders and earned his fifth save of the season.
Carey was the lone member of the Minutemen to tally multiple hits in the contest, going 2-for-4 with a double. Evangelista’s two-run single extended his reached base streak to 11 games on the season.
UMass will be back in action on Fri., Mar. 25, when the squad will open the Atlantic 10 portion of its schedule at Davidson at 6 p.m.