Dominant Game Two Effort Earns Doubleheader Split For Minutemen – University of Massachusetts Athletics

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts baseball fell, 7-6, in game one of the doubleheader to Fordham University, but a five-run second inning in game two helped the Minutemen to lead start to finish for a 7-5 victory on Saturday at Earl Lorden Field.
Graduate student Austin Burgess clubbed three home runs on the day, to earn second, third and fourth on the season, while totaling six hits on the afternoon, with a season-high three in both game one and two.
The Minutemen improve to 11-19 on the year, including 3-5 in the Atlantic 10, while Fordham dropped 12-21 overall and 4-4 in the league.   
The two teams will conclude the weekend series on Sunday, April 14, at the Earl.
Game 1
Fordham 7, Massachusetts 6 (9 Innings)
Burgess led the team with three hits, including a season-best two home runs, and a career-high five RBI. Kevin Skagerlind and Kyle Hoog followed behind with two hits apiece, as Burgess and Hoog scored two runs each. Jack Peters added an RBI, while Jack Beverly, Marc Willi and Michael Toth registered a hit.
Fordham got on the board early in the opening frame with an RBI single. Massachusetts tied up the game, before getting the go-ahead run in the third. Hoog and Toth hit back-to-back singles, with Hoog advancing to third on Toth’s single to left center field. A sacrifice bunt from Peters allowed Hoog to score to knot it up a one apiece. Skagerlind, then, hit a single up the middle, before Burgess singled to center field, pushing Toth across the dish to lead 2-1.
The Rams reclaimed the lead in the fourth with four runs scored and plated one more in the fifth to make it a 6-2 game. The Minutemen cut the deficit in half in the seventh on a two-out solo homer from Burgess.
Fordham secured another run in the top of the ninth to lead 7-3, but UMass began a rally in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and Hoog at first after being hit by a pitch, Skagerlind singled to center. Burgess stepped up to the plate and recorded his second long ball of the game to pull the Minutemen back within one. The rally fell short as Fordham claimed the 7-6 win.
Sam Belliveau (2-5) had the loss for UMass, tossing 3.2 innings with five runs on eight hits allowed, one walk and one strikeout. Declan Lavelle (5-3) earned the win for Fordham, giving up six runs on 10 hits and striking out 12 in 8.2 innings of work.
Game 2
Massachusetts 7, Fordham 5 (9 Innings)
Burgess aided the team to its victory with three hits, which included a home run, a team-high two runs and two RBI in the contest. Beverly, Willi and Toth tallied two hits apiece, with Toth and Braden Sullivan recording one double each. Skagerlind also contributed two runs for the Minutemen, while Sullivan, Toth and Peters added a run. Mike Gervasi led the team with three RBI with Skagerlind and Toth totaling one each.
After a scoreless first inning, Massachusetts got the bats going and tallied five runs in the second frame to lead. Sullivan started off the inning with a double to left field, before a ground out advanced him to third. Toth hit a double of his own to center field as Sullivan came across the plate. Peters and Skagerlind kept the momentum going with back-to-back singles, as Toth scored on Skagerlind’s single to left center field. Burgess loaded up the bases with a four-pitch walk for Gervasi to hit a three-run single, ground out to give the Minutemen a 5-0 lead.
Fordham notched a run on an RBI single in the third, before securing three more in the top of the fourth to make it a 5-4 contest. UMass tallied two runs in the bottom half of the fourth as Skagerlind led off being hit by a pitch to take his place at first and Burgess crushed his third homer of the afternoon to extend Massachusetts’ lead to 7-4.
The Rams were able to grab another run in the fifth, but the Minutemen defense held them to scoreless innings throughout the remainder of the game to come out on top with the 7-5 triumph.
Leif Bigelow (2-2) went 4.1 innings to pick up his second win of the season on the hill. He allowed only three hits and struck out a season-high six. Aidan Dowd (1-2) took the loss for Fordham, going two complete innings, and giving up five runs on six hits, walking one and striking out one.

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