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Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short as UMass Takes Series Opener, 5-3

David Vaccaro was one of three Bonnies with two hits Friday at UMass. (Photo: Becky Polaski)
David Vaccaro was one of three Bonnies with two hits Friday at UMass. (Photo: Becky Polaski)

Box Score (PDF)

AMHERST, Mass. – The St. Bonaventure baseball team threatened late, but could not overcome a four-run deficit as its rally effort fell short, 5-3, in the opening contest of a three-game Atlantic 10 set at UMass Friday afternoon.

Trailing 5-1 heading for the ninth inning, the Bonnies scratched out two runs and sent the tying run to the plate.

Casey Vincent started the rally with a one-out single to center, moving to third on a double off the bat of David Vaccaro. Jeff Palczewski kept the train going by doubling down the left field line to cut the deficit to two by bringing home both runners.

UMass called to its bullpen and right-hander Casey Aubin picked up the final two outs to end the threat.

St. Bonaventure (4-14, 0-4 A-10) picked up two hits apiece from Palczewski, Vaccaro and Vincent.

The Minutemen (9-6, 2-2) grabbed a run in the second inning for a 1-0 lead, but the Bonnies tied it up in the third.

Sam Fuller reached on a bunt single, then got into scoring position after stealing second base. Fuller came in to score the tying run as Mike Magnanti drove a single to right.

The tie would not last for long, however, as UMass took the lead on an RBI single by Chris Mrowka in its next at-bat.

UMass pushed another run across in the fourth on a squeeze play, taking a 3-1 advantage.

A run each in the sixth and seventh innings gave the Minutemen control and enough of a cushion to withstand the Bona rally in the ninth.

Brandon Schlimm started and worked 5.1 innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out five. James Wetter tossed 2.2 innings of one-run relief, fanning two.

The Bonnies and Minutemen get re-acquainted in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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