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Baseball Tops UMass, 11-2

The Central Connecticut baseball team earned an 11-2 victory over UMass on Tuesday afternoon.  The Blue Devils (19-16, 11-9 NEC) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and never looked back.  Sophomore JP Sportman led the offense with a four-for-four day at the plate.

With two outs in the first, Sportman tripled and then scored on a single by sophomore Anthony Turgeon.  The Blue Devils added two more runs in the inning with the help of a pair of walks and a throwing error by the UMass first baseman.

In the second inning, senior Jake Matuszak singled, stole second and third and then scored on an RBI single by sophomore Dylan DelaCruz.  The hit gave the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead.

The Minute Men were able to push across their second run in the top of the third, but the Blue Devils were able to answer with a single run in the bottom of the frame.  Matuszak singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out, before scoring on an RBI single by Sportman, his second hit of the game.

The Blue Devils broke the game open in the fifth inning as Turgeon walked, junior Tyler McIntyre walked and junior Chris Renzoni was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no one out.  Senior Danny Hickey delivered a single up the middle to plate the first two runs of the inning and after a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Josh Ingham, Matuszak lined a triple to center to score both runners.  Senior Mitch Wells followed with an RBI single and Sportman lined a double down the left field line to score wells, as the Blue Devils plated six runs in the inning.

Neither team scored after the fifth inning, but Sportman picked up his fourth hit of the day on a single to center in the seventh.

Freshman Mike Krukiel earned the victory for the Blue Devils.  He entered the game in the fourth inning and hit the first batter he faced before inducing a double play.  He faced the minimum nine batters over his first three innings before loading the bases with one out in the seventh.

Sophomore Nick Boyd entered the game with one out in the seventh, but worked out of the bases loaded jam without allowing a run to score.  Hickey picked the lead runner off of third base and Boyd was able to get the final out with a ground ball to second base.

Krukiel, Boyd and Ingham combined for six innings of scoreless relief.  The trio allowed just three hits and one walk.

Matuszak, Sportman and Hickey each finished the game with two RBI.  Matuszak went three-for-five at the plate and scored three runs.  Wells recorded two hits in the game to join Matuszak and Sportman with multi-hit days.

The Blue Devils return to action this Friday in Northeast Conference play at Fairliegh Dickinson.

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