April 15, 2012
MERION STATION, Pa. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team saw its winning streak snapped at seven games on Sunday afternoon as Massachusetts held on for a 3-2 win on the Maguire Campus. Kevin Taylor continued his recent stretch of fine hitting, going 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
Massachusetts (11-12 overall, 6-3 Atlantic 10) took its first lead of the series in the top of the second inning when Dylan Begin doubled home Adam Picard with the game's first run.
Saint Joseph's (15-21 overall, 6-3 Atlantic 10) equalized in the third. With two down in the third, Anthony Cirillo singled to give the Hawks their first baserunner of the game. Ryan Pater followed with a single of his own before Lansing Veeder ripped a base hit through the left side to plate Cirillo and tie the score.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as the Minutemen took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Picard scored an unearned run on a two-out single by Rich Graef.
UMass doubled its lead to 3-1 in the top half of the eighth when Anthony Serino drew a leadoff walk and came around to score two batters later as Picard reached on an error.
The Hawks got the run back in the bottom half of the frame when Taylor ripped a double over the head of Serino in center field to score Greg Kumpel from first and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, UMass closer Leif Sorenson came on and got the final five outs to notch his fifth save of the season.
Joe Popielarczyk improved to 3-0 with the win, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven and a third innings. Jordan Carter took the loss, working three and two-thirds innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. Mike Muha pitched strongly in relief, retiring seven hitters in a row and nine of the 10 he faced in three innings.
The loss ended Saint Joseph's winning streak at seven games. It matched the third-longest streak for SJU since World War II, and was the longest stretch since the 1983 team won seven in a row as well. The seven-game stretch is also the longest winning streak against strictly Division I opposition in Saint Joseph's history.
Saint Joseph's will return to the diamond on Tuesday night as the Hawks take on Penn in the Liberty Bell Classic championship game at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $5 at the First Base Gate at Citizens Bank Park on the night of the game, and free parking is available in Phillies Lot P. Gametracker and streaming audio will be available on SJUHawks.com as well.