UMass Athletics:

April 2012 Archives

Coverage Of Baseball's Beanpot Championship Victory

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Congratulations to the baseball team on capturing its sixth Beanpot Championship in program history. Multiple news outlets had coverage of the 8-7 win over Harvard:

Daily Hampshire Gazette: Freshman Conor LeBlanc pitches UMass baseball to Beanpot title Massachusetts 8, Harvard 7: Minutemen Cling to Lead, Capture Beanpot Title
Daily Collegian: UMass holds on to early lead for Beanpot title

Check out the highlights and postgame interviews, as well:

UMass Invite Recap: Daily Hampshire Gazette

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Checkout this recap of the UMass Invitational from the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Minutewomen look to stay hot at BC

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The Daily Collegian has a preview on today's game at Boston College. UMass will look for a season sweep of the Eagles when they meet up at Shea Field in Chestnut Hill. First pitch is at 4 pm and the game can be heard online at

After showing signs of inconsistency at the beginning of the season, the Massachusetts softball team appears to be getting hot at the right time.

Plourde has been on top of her game as of late, posting six shutouts in that stretch to go along with three no-hitters and a perfect game. Arguably her most significant improvement is the fact that she has only issued 39 walks, helping minimize her ERA to 2.14.

Read the entire article by clicking here.
Congratulations to UMass' own Jonathan Quick who helped the No. 8-seed Los Angeles push No. 1 Vancouver to the brink of elimination with a 1-0 shutout of the Canucks in game three last night. Quick has stopped 111 out of 115 shots in the series, which resumes Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Republican: Walk-Ons Throwing Strikes For UMass Baseball

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In today's Springfield Republican Dick Baker has a nice piece on UMass starting pitchers Dennis Torres and Joe Popielarczyk.

"Joe Popielarczyk, a Northampton native whose 3-2 victory Sunday at Saint Joseph's lifted the Minutemen's Atlantic 10 record to a much-better-than-expected 6-3. The win snapped the Hawks' seven-game winning streak."

Read the more of Walk-ons throwing strikes for greatly improved UMass baseball.

The Daily Collegian has coverage today of UMass' sweep of La Salle over the weekend along with a notebook from Scott Cournoyer. The Minutemen are in action tonight in Lowell, Mass., facing Northeastern at 6 p.m. in the first round of the Beanpot Tournament, which will be broadcast on WMUA 91.1 FM.

Rich Graef walks-off twice as Minutemen slide into first place
Dennis Torres, Anthony Serino heating things up for Minutemen

UMass' Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings begin their quest for the Stanley Cup tomorrow night as the squad's first round series with Vancouver opens up on Wednesday night.

From Fox Sports West:

Is this the season in which the Kings' Jonathan Quick can break through and become an elite goalie?

In the eyes of his coach, Darryl Sutter, that status is only reached in the playoffs, and in his two playoff series with the Kings, Quick has a 4-8 record in first-round losses to Vancouver and San Jose.

Sutter -- who in previous stops coached top goalies such as Chicago's Ed Belfour and Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff -- has been public in his challenges of Quick, who is widely favored to be one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy this season.

Sutter even name-dropped San Jose's Antti Niemi, whose numbers weren't nearly as strong as Quick's this season, in comparison.

"San Jose has a goaltender that has won a Stanley Cup," Sutter said. "He quietly goes about his business and doesn't get much credit, just criticism. And we have one that gets a lot of credit."

Does that mean, Sutter was asked, that Quick gets too much credit from the media?

"I'm not getting into that, because I know what happens when you answer those questions," Sutter said. "You have to prove it, right? That's what it's about."

Quick now gets a chance at revenge against Vancouver, the team that eliminated the Kings in the first round two years ago.

Recaps Of Baseball's 2-1 Win Over La Salle

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The UMass baseball team battled to a 2-1 win over La Salle in the Atlantic 10 series opener on Thursday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field. With the Minutemen now holding sole possession of first place in the conference standings, the teams will meet again in game two of the series this afternoon at 3 p.m.

Several media outlets had coverage of yesterday's win:

Daily Collegian: Minutemen Baseball Taking 2-1 Nail-Biter
Daily Collegian: Small-Ball Big Factor For Thriving Minutemen
Daily Hampshire Gazette: UMass Baseball Holds Off La Salle

Also check out the postgame interviews, as well:

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on the offensive line under Ron Hudson in the Minutemen's new spread offense. released their midseason All-American picks with UMass' Will Manny on the first team. Tom Celentani and Tim McCormack were both All-American second team picks.

Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger has a story on Victor Cruz who was a member of the NFL's unveiling of Nike's new uniforms for the league.

"I'm not frustrated at all. I'm just trying to go in there and play football," he said of his current contract. "When I was young it wasn't about money, it wasn't about fame and fortune. It was just about playing football. So regardless of how short-term this career can be, I just want to go out there and play. All of that stuff will take care of itself." 

Earlier, he said, "You just gotta remain humble and remain yourself and understand that all the good things are going to come to you in time. So you just have to keep doing what you're doing, remain positive at all times and the good things will come."

New NFL uniforms

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a story on how UMass' success in making the NIT Semifinals and posting a 25-12 record will help in future scheduling.

From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

For the third straight season, there is a Marcou in the American Hockey League, although this one is not playing for the Sharks.

James Marcou's younger brother, Mike, signed an amateur tryout agreement with Oklahoma City and has already gotten into a game. The Marcou brothers were teammates at UMass until James turned pro at the end of the 2009-10 season.

James said his brother called him to talk things over before his AHL debut. "He was a little nervous," James added.

The Marcous have never played against each other in a high-level game. That could happen next year, or they could be on the same team again. James' season is over -- it never even started, actually -- due to a concussion, although he said he is symptom free.

"I wanted to play last week," he said, "but the Sharks said I'd be better off just shutting it down and starting up next year."

Where that will be is another question, since Marcou's contract is up.

"I'll find somewhere to play," he said, "even if it's not back here."

Chris Roswess Returns To Pioneers For PDL Season

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Chris Roswess will join the Western Mass Pioneers for a third season as announced by the club on Monday. A native of West Springfield, Mass., Roswess was a senior for the Minutemen in the fall and played in 73 games during his career.

On April 27 at 7 PM, James Ihedigbo will host a charity fundraiser at Lit Mezze Lounge in Amherst. Lit will be hosting a meet & greet with James and other NFL players from 7pm - 10pm. At 10pm the party portion of the night will begin. There will be items such as signed jerseys from the players, up for silent auction throughout the night for those who are interested in bidding.

Job Baker of The Woonsocket Call has a feature on UMass swimming alum Chris Payson who is coaching the Shamrock Swim Club. Payson started the club at the urge of local swimmers and the group has grown from day one. 

The Los Angeles Kings might win their second division title in franchise history this week, or they still might miss the playoffs.

Although a gritty win over the Edmonton Oilers did little to clear up their fate, the Kings are cautiously confident they can hang on to first place as long as Jonathan Quick is guarding their net.

Quick made 19 saves in his NHL-leading 10th shutout, Slava Voynov scored in the opening minute of the third period and the Kings moved closer to the Pacific Division crown with a 2-0 victory Monday night.

Dwight King also scored with 2:32 to play for the Kings, who began a frantic final week in the Pacific by earning their 93rd point and opening a two-point lead over Phoenix (91), which sits seventh in the Western Conference.

San Jose (90) and Dallas (89) also are in an impossibly tight race for only three playoff spots. The Kings began the day in first only on a deep tiebreaker with Phoenix, and they have no intention of celebrating anything just yet.

"It doesn't matter what our points are," said Quick, who has 24 career NHL shutouts. "We're not in yet. It doesn't matter where anybody is in the standings. We've got two games left, and we've got to get points."

Los Angeles, which has won nine of 12, could clinch its first division title in 21 years with two regulation wins over San Jose in a home-and-home series starting Thursday -- or everything still could go wrong. After their fifth game in eight days, the Kings are simply grateful they can take a day off to prepare for that last push.


Q&A With Michael Marcou From NewsOK

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New Barons defenseman Mike Marcou talks about his American Hockey League debut, playing at Fenway Park and his preference in pre-game candy. Marcou signed an amateur tryout contract with Oklahoma City and made his professional debut March 30 at Milwaukee after finishing his senior season at UMass. He will likely play his first game in Oklahoma City at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the Barons host the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Cox Center.

Read the Q&A here - Barons Q&A with: rookie defenseman Mike Marcou

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a piece on freshman softball player Quianna Diaz-Patterson and her rapid adjustment to the college game.

Standing on the field at the UMass Softball Complex after the University of Massachusetts softball team's 1-0 win over Quinnipiac in the home opener Wednesday, freshman shortstop Quianna Diaz-Patterson marveled at how far she's come.

"It was really fun just to be on the field," the former Amherst Regional standout said. "I used to watch the UMass team play - now I'm on the field with them."

Hitting out of the No. 2 spot in the batting order, Diaz-Patterson is second on the team in hitting at .313 and leads the Minutewomen in home runs (three) and RBIs (20). Her RBI double in the third inning Wednesday produced the game's only run."You can't ask for a young kid to do more," Sortino added. "She has a plan and she finishes her at-bats."

Diaz-Patterson had an outstanding career at Amherst Regional with 144 hits and 105 stolen bases, but she came into the UMass season unsure of how her abilities would translate to the Division I college level.

Jon Baker of the Pawtucket Times has an article on Kyllie Magill, the starting second baseman on the softball team.

It's hard to believe Kyllie Magill, the former St. Raphael Academy All-State softball catcher, is now in her final semester at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
It seems like only yesterday she had been drilling doubles and blocking the plate for the Saints, who always were in contention to win the Division I state title.

"This season, I'd like to win the A-10 championship, and also win an NCAA (Division I) Regional (game)," she explained via e-mail Monday. "We have an All-American pitcher (Plourde) and some great players, so I think we have the tools to do that.

"We have a shot to go undefeated in the conference with the great team we have, and that would be cool, too," she continued. "Individually, I just want to be a great leader, give my team good at-bats and be a strong presence on the field."