Below are a few articles that do a very nice job of remembering former UMass baseball and basketball standout Ray Ellerbrook, who passed away on Wednesday. He was a star in both sports, leading each team to one of the more significant athletic achievements in their history - the first College World Series and first NIT appearance. He played freshman and varsity ball from 1967-70 during the end of one of the most successful decades in UMass history.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Czelusniak Funeral Home, 173 North St. in Northampton. A celebration of Ellerbrook's life will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Ray Ellerbrook Athletic Field at 48 Burts Pit Road.
After he helped Mexico's Yaquis de Obregon to the Caribbean Series title in the early hours of the morning, former Minuteman Doug Clark was mentioned in several recaps of the game, including highlights from ESPN:
Among the "year in review" pieces out there recapping the events of 2012, Matt Vautour had this one about UMass pitcher Joe Popielarczyk's stellar 2012 season with the Minutemen baseball team:
For most freshman, not making it through walk-on tryouts is the end of their college careers.
They gave it a shot at being a college athlete. After being deemed not quite good enough, they hang 'em up, content to move on. Some will try to join a club team. Some will play intramurals. Most will just become regular college students, going to class during the week, parties on weekends, gaining weight and knowledge, while moving toward a degree and a job, and further away from their athletic careers.
It would have been hard to blame Joe Popielarczyk for following that route. The former Northampton High School baseball star was carrying a challenging major (civil engineering), while commuting to the University of Massachusetts every day from his home in Florence. Most people would have been tempted to just throw themselves into their studies and forget baseball.
But Popielarczyk wasn't ready to do that, and just making the baseball team as a sophomore after his second shot at walk-on tryouts made Popielarczyk a good story.
Tarpey earned UMass' first All-America award in baseball, being named third-team by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 1955. A member of two consecutive NCAA Tournament teams (1954-55), he helped UMass advance to the College World Series in 1954, the school's first ever appearance. In 1955, Tarpey was the MVP of the NCAA Regional, a member of the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team, and winner of the E. Joseph Thompson Memorial MVP trophy (team MVP). A native of Gardner, Mass., Tarpey was a managing partner of the Bulkely, Richardson, and Gelinas law firm in Springfield, Mass. He was inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Congratulations to 2012 graduate, former UMass catcher Tom Conley, who was named the new manager for the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
From the Berkshire Eagle:
A former University of Massachusetts baseball player is the new manager of the Pittsfield Suns.
Tom Conley, a four-year starter at catcher for UMass, has been hired to manage the Futures League baseball team this summer. Conley replaces Jamie Keefe who stepped down after last season.
Conley, 22, is in the middle of his first season as an assistant coach at Division I Bryant University in Rhode Island.
To say this first year after he graduated with a Sociology degree has been a baseball whirlwind is an understatement.
"I didn't even get to go to my graduation. We were away," he said during an interview prior to a press conference Thursday announcing the hiring. "I feel like my season just ended. Then all of a sudden, I'm with Bryant and now I'm with Pittsfield. It's kind of a whirlwind, but it's exciting."
Conley joined Suns owners Jeff Goldklang and Tyler Tumminia, general manager Kevin McGuire and Futures League Commissioner Chris Hall at the press event, held in the main lobby of the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank on South Street.
In addition to his four years at UMass, the Quincy native played three summers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
"We started this process from, essentially, scratch. Every person Tyler spoke to, one name kept coming back to us and that was you really need to talk to this guy Tom Conley," said Goldklang. "He's got a future in this sport.
"We did our due diligence on everybody. At the end of the day, it wasn't even a question. Tom was the correct choice."
WIth the help of SAAC, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, five representatives of the whole of UMass athletics sat down with the students at Crocker Farm Elementary School prior to the start of classes this morning. In addition to just interacting with the youngsters, each student-athlete took the opportunity to discuss the importance of eating healthy, staying active and working hard in school. Minutemen Joe Snyder (men's lacrosse) and baseball's Billy Jones and Alex Tuneski, as well as Minutewomen Katie Bettencourt (softball) and Jocelyn Providence (women's tennis) all participated in the day's activity.
For more information about SAAC can be found through the UMass Athletics website here.
Over the weekend, MassLive.com had a piece from David Driver on UMass baseball alum Matt Gedman, who is currently playing professionally in the Boston Red Sox farm system for the Lowell Spinners:
Matthew Gedman strolled out of the Lowell Spinners clubhouse about three hours before game time on Wednesday at Ripken Stadium, just north of Baltimore.
The 23-year-old was wearing the road grey uniform of the Red Sox minor-league team, complete with wrist bands on both arms, and was carrying a black bat and glove before a game against the Aberdeen IronBirds, whose co-owner is Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
Gedman, the former UMass baseball standout from Framingham, certainly looks the part of a pro baseball player. He has been around the game his entire life and said he was about 2 years old the first time he went to Fenway Park, where his father Rich was a catcher for Boston from 1980-90, then with Houston in 1990 and St. Louis in 1991-92.
"I remember more about the St. Louis Cardinals when my dad played for them," said the younger Gedman, who was born Sept. 26, 1988.
Now the elder Gedman, a graduate of Worcester High, is a hitting coaching with the high Class A Salem (Va.) Red Sox while his son is in his second pro season after being drafted by Boston out of UMass in 2011 in the 45th round.
"We talk about two or three times per week," said Matt Gedman, a 6-foot-2 left-handed hitter. "We don't really talk baseball too much. It is more how are you doing? He is pretty busy and I am pretty busy. In the off-season we hang out more."
The younger Gedman played shortstop for the Minutemen but has been used mostly at third base by Lowell, a short-season affiliate in the New York-Penn League. In games through Aug. 22 he was hitting .227 in 132 at bats with four doubles, three homers and 19 RBIs. Gedman made six errors in his first 30 games at third for the Spinners, who were 29-33 after a 3-2 win in 11 innings here Aug. 22.
"He is a great clubhouse kid. He has been around the clubhouse all of his life," said Bruce Crabbe, the Lowell manager. "He can play multiple positions if you need him to."
The Boston Globe is the latest media outlet to cover Dennis' Torres amazing story from walking on to the UMass baseball squad to becoming a Baltimore Orioles' draft pick earlier this month:
Dennis Torres remembers the doleful look he saw in the eyes of his father, Denesi, four years ago after he had played his final season for the Lawrence Legion Post 15 team.
There had been no high school career: He was cut four times from the baseball team at Central Catholic, and no college scholarships were in the offing.
"I talked to my pops, and he was so upset he couldn't watch me play anymore,'' Torres recalled.
Now, the elder Torres will be able to watch his son pitch as a professional after the 6-foot-2, 200-pound righthander was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 28th round (852d pick overall) of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft last Wednesday.
"When my name came out, it was awesome,'' said the 22-year-old Torres, who went from walk-on to number one starter in his third season at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He signed a contract with Baltimore Monday morning, forgoing his final season of eligibility, and will report to the Gulf Coast League for two weeks before moving on to the Aberdeen IronBirds in the short-season New York-Penn League.
Recent graduate Joe Popielarczyk represented the UMass baseball program in the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-Star game on Monday night in Brockton, Mass., starting on the mound for the University Division Squad and helping the team to a 5-3 victory.
The right-hander tossed three innings and let up just one unearned run on three hits and stuck out three without walking a batter.
An excellent feature on Dennis Torres by the Springfield Republican's Harry Plumer. Torres signed with the Orioles this morning and will report to the Gulf City Orioles.
You wouldn't even know Dennis Torres played baseball if it weren't for the picture leaning against the wall in his bedroom.
Trophies and medals from years past are packed away in boxes somewhere. There are no framed cutouts of newspaper articles.
His career, at least at his mother's house, is nothing more than a ghost.
It won't be for long.
Phones have been ringing, text messages have been dinging and Torres' Twitter account has been blowing up since the UMass pitcher was drafted in the 28th round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles on June 6.
People are coming out of the woodwork to congratulate him. They tell them they always knew he had it in him, even though he was cut from his high school baseball team all four years. They tell him they knew he could do it, even though he never gave baseball a thought during his first year at UMass.
Today ESPN Boston has a feature from Marty Dobrow on former UMass pitcher Matt Torra. In his seventh season in professional baseball, Torra is currently a member of Triple-A Durham Bulls and is 4-6 with a 5.02 earned run average through 61 innings over 11 starts.
Congratulations to Dennis Torres, who was selected in the 28th round of the MLB Draft yesterday. Matt Vautour had this nice piece in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette:
"Dennis Torres' high school team didn't want him.
The Lawrence native was cut by Central Catholic all four years of high school. No colleges wanted him either. Of course they didn't. Who recruits a kid that didn't play varsity in high school? Torres walked on at the University of Massachusetts as a sophomore, hoping to play third base. He wasn't even a pitcher until the Minuteman coaching staff saw him zip a throw across the infield.
But the Baltimore Orioles wanted him.
The Orioles selected the UMass junior right-hander four picks into the 28th round Wednesday of Major League Baseball's first-year draft. Torres was at Minuteman teammate Leif Sorenson's house in Haverhill watching the draft online and just before 3 p.m. after Boston College senior pitcher Matt Brazis was selected by the Seattle Mariners, the voice from the computer said the magic words: 'Dennis Torres, right-handed pitcher, University of Massachusetts.'"
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."
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.
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:
Congratulations to UMass baseball alum Mike Donato on being named the head baseball coach at Springfield Central High School. The following is from the East Hartford Gazette:
East Hartford's Michael Donato was recently named head varsity baseball coach at Springfield Central High School in MA.
After graduating East Hartford High School in 2006 where he was a standout student/athlete for coach Mike McDermott's successful Hornet teams and captain for Dan Lawrence's football team, Michael went on to UMass where enjoyed success on and off the field. He was a four year starter and senior captain for coach Mike Stone's Minutemen. While at UMass he was named to the Atlantic 10 All conference first team, A-10 All- Academic team and Lowe's Senior Class All-American Team.
Michael received his bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in education from UMass. He is currently employed as a social studies teacher at Springfield's South End Middle School.
Former Minuteman Matt Torra continued his stellar work for the Durham Bulls in his latest outing on the mound this past Sunday:
The Tides (55-87) went three up, three down six times against Bulls starter Matt Torra (5-1) in the penultimate game of the season Sunday night.
The 27-year-old acquired from Arizona in July baffled Tides batters up until the eighth inning. Torra struck out six and averaged an efficient 10 pitches per inning through seven innings as Tides batters constantly swung on the first pitch. Durham improved to 10-1 when Torra starts.
"He's got a nice little slider," Tides manager Gary Allenson said. "He gets ahead with something else and throws that slider up there, and it's a tough pitch to lay off of."
Torra retired 13 straight batters between shortstop Carlos Rojas' single in the third and Hughes' stand-up triple to start the eighth. After the triple, second baseman Brendan Harris reached first base on a hit-by-pitch and catcher John Hester doubled, scoring Hughes, before Dane De La Rosa relieved Torra.
Hester left the game with an injury following the double. He had two of the Tides' four hits against Torra, which may not be a coincidence. In 2007, Hester caught Torra when the two were with the Arizona Diamondback's Class A-Advanced affiliate Visalia.
"I would think it would help you a little bit if you caught the guy before," Allenson said. "You get an idea of how he works and what his stuff does."
UMass' own Matt Gedman had the opportunity to play the 2011 season finale with the Red Sox's double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, last night, getting the starting nod at third base.
Gedman was 0-3 in the contest in an 8-3 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats but finished his first season of professional ball with a .234 batting average (46-for-197), five doubles, one triple, three home runs, 18 runs scored and 17 RBI combined across three different teams.
Gedman began the season with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox before being promoted to the short season-A Lowell Spinners in late July.
Former UMass hurler Matt Torra pitched six shutout innings and struck out three in game two of a doubleheader against the Charlotte Knights yesterday.
The Bulls swept the Knights Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, winning 4-3 in eight innings and then 3-0 in the nightcap in front of 10,015. Durham (77-57) reduced its magic number in the South Division to five and extended its lead to 3.5 games over Gwinnett, which comes to the DBAP Monday for a two-game series.
Torra started the year in Reno, where he had a 6.07 ERA before being traded to Tampa. He had a 6.86 ERA in his first four starts in Durham, but the 27-year-old righty has given up just nine runs in his last 39.2 innings and is 4-0 in his last six starts.
Torra credited pitching coach Neil Allen for making some mechanical adjustments, including moving him from the third-base side to the first-base side of the rubber and getting him more upright in his delivery. He gave up just four hits and no walks Sunday to lower his ERA to 3.81.
Several years before Mike Flanagan won his Cy Young Award with the Orioles in 1979, he was a riveting figure to watch on a baseball diamond.
As a student at the University of Massachusetts, I watched the Minutemen play a typically chilly April game against Maine in 1973. It was apparent that nobody really wanted to hit in the raw weather, and hardly anybody did.
Flanagan was running a 102 temperature with the flu but pitched anyway. He struck out 10 and allowed just two hits. But that wasn't the story.
Flanagan lettered for the UMass baseball team in 1972 and 1973, earning first team All-Yankee Conference and first team All-New England honors in 1973 before turning professional. Flanagan went 9-1 with a 1.52 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 1973, to lead the team in all three categories. His nine wins and .900 winning percentage set school single season records at the time. He received the E. Joseph Thompson Memorial Trophy as the team's MVP in 1973, after leading the team to an overall record of 21-9-1, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament and the Yankee Conference championship.
Flanagan had a career ERA of 1.19 and a career winning percentage of .923 (12-1), which are both still the best marks in school history. He also played in the outfield while at UMass, hitting .320 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 128 career at-bats.
After he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1973, Flanagan went on to pitch 18 seasons in the major leagues with the Orioles (1975-1987, 1991-1992) and Toronto Blue Jays (1987-1990). He had a career record of 167-143 with 1,491 strikeouts and a 3.89 ERA in 2,770 innings pitched, and won the 1979 American League Cy Young Award for the Orioles, going 23-9 with 190 strikeouts and a 3.08 ERA in 265-2/3 innings. Flanagan pitched over 200 innings seven times in his major league career, including four straight years from 1977-1980. He won 12 or more games in a season eight times during his major league career, struck out 100 or more batters six times, and was a member of the Baltimore Orioles 1983 World Championship team.
A native of Manchester, N.H., Flanagan received his degree from the UMass School of Education in 1975, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Since 2010, Flanagan had served as a color analyst on Orioles telecasts for Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
Clegg allowed one run on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work. He is currently 4-5 on the season with a 5.22 earned run average over 79.1 innings in 25 appearances with 25 walks to 36 strikeouts.
Congratulations to our own Matt Gedman, who was promoted from the Gulf Coast League Red Sox at the end of last week to the Short Season A Lowell Spinners of the New York Penn League. In 31 games in the Gulf Coast League, he hit .282 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, 15 RBI and 14 runs scored.
Leigh (1-2) pitched 22/3 innings of scoreless relief to record his first win of the season for the Frogs. He currently holds a 2.92 earned run average in 12.1 innings over seven appearances with five walks and nine strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .205.
UMass hurler Matt Torra will again be the host for the seventh annual Conor Dillon
Memorial Golf Tournament this October 1 at the
Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown,
Mass., with proceeds benefitting Pittsfield Little Leagues
and the Girls' Softball League.
The tourney has donated over $40,000 in the past six years
to fund the sandlot needs of local youth. Last fall, over $12,500 was
raised and used to buy - among more traditional items like bats, balls and
bases - a hot water heater and slush machine for the South Little League
concession stand plus bullpen fencing, bleachers and a batting cage net for the
West Little League. And, participants in the Girls Softball League this spring
honed their batting eyes with the use of a new fast-pitch batting machine as
well as a new soft toss system.
Besides the lights, lawn mowers, tarps, scoreboards and
other initiatives to improve the local playing fields over the years, the
tournament has also established a scholarship fund for students of the culinary
arts - a passion of Torra's childhood friend Conor Dillon for whom the
tournament is named.
The text message received from Matt Torra Thursday morning was written with a sense of surprise.
"Who would have thought Bateman and I on the same team. The Durham Bulls," is what the text message said.
The Bateman in question is Joe Bateman, who has returned to Durham to join a Bulls' pitching staff that Torra is a member of.
"Two kids from the same high school team pitching on the same [minor league] team -- that's crazy," Pittsfield High baseball coach Bob Moynihan said. "That's just unbelievable."
Torra was traded to the Tampa Bay organization from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and was put into the starting rotation at Durham. He is still seeking his first win. Bateman, who spent the last two years with Durham, was released by Class AA Midland (Texas League) on Tuesday and signed with the Rays on Wednesday. Tampa Bay assigned him back in Durham.
"It was a complete surprise" to see Bateman in the Bulls' clubhouse in Rochester, N.Y., Torra recalled. "We hadn't touched base yet.
"I was starting so I came to the field later. I show up and he's in the locker room. It was pretty cool to see him and now to play with another Pittsfield guy, it doesn't happen too often."
Torra threw five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, walked none and struck out four, but did not earn a decision in the Bulls' 11-5 win. All three runs came in the first as he followed up with four shutout frames.
Following this five-games stint against Norfolk, the Bulls will be making a trip to New England to face the Pawtucket Red Sox, July 14-17.
Torra threw five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, walked none and struck out four, but did not earn a decision in the Bulls' 11-5 win. All three runs came in the first as he followed up with four shutout frames.
Following this five-games stint against Norfolk, the Bulls will be making a trip to New England to face the Pawtucket Red Sox, July 14-17.
Chad Paronto lost his first three starts for the Pittsfield Colonials, but kept on saying that things would get better. This must be what he meant.
The right-hander (3-3) won his third straight start to even his record as the Colonials rallied to beat the Newark Bears 5-3 on Tuesday.
Paronto went six innings Tuesday, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits. T.J. Wink, the fourth Pittsfield pitcher, threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his first professional save.
In his last three starts, Paronto has pitched 20 2/3 innings and has given up four earned runs on 18 hits, for an earned-run average of 1.75. That compares most favorably with the righty's first three starts, where he gave up 14 earned runs in 16 innings and had an ERA of 7.88.
On Tuesday, Paronto walked only two and struck out seven. He threw 112 pitches, 72 for strikes.
Gazette-Journal ran a nice Father's Day piece yesterday, featuring former Minuteman Matt Torra.
Torra, who took the mound in Las Vegas for the Aces against the 51s yesterday, celebrated his first Father's Day. Torra and his wife Jessica welcomed their
daughter Isabel into the world nine months ago.
"Having a kid now has really put a lot of things in
perspective for me," Torra said. "After a good game you go up and see
your family and my daughter's like, 'Hey, let's go play. I don't care what you
did on the field.' And it goes the other way, too. If you have a bad outing and
you go up after the game and you see her, she smiles at you and it makes you
just forget about it."
Chad Paronto pitched the first complete game shutout of his 16-year professional career in game one of a doubleheader as the Pittsfield Colonials defeated the New Jersey Jackals 9-0 on Wednesday.
He threw 87 pitches, on the night, 63 of them strikes. He did not walk a batter and struck out four for the win. Paronto (1-3) allowed six hits, with no walks and six strikeouts in his first complete game since July 9, 2000.
Framingham's Matt Gedman, the Red Sox' 45th-round draft pick out of the University of Massachusetts and son of former Sox catcher Rich Gedman, reported to the team's minor league complex in Fort Myers yesterday and is expecting to sign today after taking his physical. Gedman, who can play several infield positions, had a .334 career average in four seasons at UMass. He was a starting third baseman in the recent New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association All-Star Game. "It's definitely exciting and now it's time to hopefully take advantage of my opportunity,'' said Gedman, who most likely will be assigned to the Sox' Gulf Coast Rookie League team.
Former UMass hurler Bryan Leigh is about to begin his second season in professional baseball and will be pitching for the Everett AquaSox this summer, the short season A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, who announced their opening day roster yesterday. He is joined by three more former Atlantic 10 pitchers: Cameron Hobson (Dayton), Cody Weiss (La Salle) and Max Krakowiak (Fordham).
Leigh, who signed with the Seattle Mariners' organization last summer as a free agent, was 2-0 with a 1.71 earned run average over 21.0 innings with the Pulaski Mariners in 2010. He registered three saves in his 12 appearances, as well, with 19 strikeouts to just six walks and an opponent batting average of .203.
The AquaSox open their season this Friday, Jun. 17, on the road against the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Marty Dobrow has a great piece on ESPNBoston.com about the Red Sox signing UMass' Matt Gedman. Dobrow mentions the possibility of Gedman being placed with the Lowell Spinners where his father, Rich, is the hitting coach. Rich also played for the Red Sox where he was a two-time All-Star catcher.
The New England Collegiate baseball league opened last night with current UMass catcher Tom Conley helping the Keene Swamp Bats to a 7-0 win in a rain-shortened contest against the Vermont Mountaineers. Conley hit fifth in the order and was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
On the day his younger brother was drafted, former Minuteman hurler Mike Gedman unfortunately took the loss for the Worcester Tornadoes after walking the leadoff hitter on a 3-2 pitch in the eighth inning vs. Chad Paronto's Pittsfield Colonials. The Colonials rallied for a 6-4 win.
Finally, Matt Torra will be on the bump tonight as the Reno Aces open a four-game series against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Torra will put his 4-0 record on the line against Sky Sox RHP Esmil Rogers (0-0, No ERA), who is on a Major League rehab assignment.
"Matt Gedman still had hope on Wednesday, when the First-Year
Player Draft shifted to its final day.
The Framingham, Mass., native and senior at University of Massachusetts thought there was a chance his name might
get called somewhere toward the end of the Draft. He was incredibly nervous, so
he traveled down to Cape Cod with some buddies
to relieve stress the best way he knew how -- playing baseball.
When Gedman got to his car and saw all the missed calls on
his cell phone, he figured something had happened.
Gedman -- a 6-foot-2, 205-pound infielder -- became the
45th-round pick of the Boston Red Sox, his favorite team growing up, and one of
the clubs for which his father Rich played during his Major League career." Continue Reading on MLB.com.
With the New England Collegiate Baseball League kicking off its season tonight, summer ball is getting underway. Several of the Minutemen will be starting action over the next few days.
In the NECBL, junior catcher Tom Conley will be returning for a second stint with the Keene Swamp Bats. They open tonight vs. the Vermont Mountaineers in Keene, N.H., at 6:30 p.m.
Freshman shortstop Josh Messier is also playing in the NECBL for the New Bedford Bay Sox. New Bedford begins its season this Friday, June 10, on the road against the Sanford Mainers.
Freshman outfielder Kyle Adie will be a part of the inaugural season of the Futures League, playing for the the Nashua Silver Knights, who open up on Friday on the road vs. the Torrington Titans.
Sophomore Aaron Zaleznik is beginning his second season with the Elmira Pioneers of the newly-formed Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The right hander will begin his summer with the Pioneers tomorrow night, Thursday, Jun. 9, as the squad hosts the Cooperstown Hawkeyes.
The 37th Annual New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-Star Game was held Thursday night at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass. UMass' Peter Copa was instrumental in helping the University Division come back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, 3-3. The game ended in a tie after the scheduled nine innings were completed.
Copa entered in the sixth inning, replacing Rhode Island's Tom Coulombe at first base and was 2-for-2 with a double. Part of the University Division's two-run rally in the eighth, Copa's double moved Garret Smith of Boston College to third, setting up a sacrifice fly by Quinnipiac's Kyle Nisson. Copa then came home for the game-tying third run on an RBI double by URI's Greg Annarummo.
Matt Gedman started for the University Division team at third base and was 0-for-2 with a walk.
Seniors Peter Copa and Matt Gedman will be representing UMass in the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association's (NEIBA) 37th annual All-Star Game tonight at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass., at 7 p.m.
Division I players from across the region will make up the University
Division Team, while The College Division Team is made up of 13
Division II standouts and 16 Division III seniors all-stars.
Tickets will cost $5 and can be purchased when the gates open at 6 p.m.
Former UMass hurler Mitchell Clegg is mentioned in this piece from iberkshires.com on the North Adams SteepleCats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League and the team's 74 alumni who have gone on to play professionally.
Dan Hoard's, tv/radio broadcaster for the Pawtucket Red Sox, latest blog post is an interesting read on former PawSox pitcher, UMass' own, Chad Paronto, who will be making his debut with the Pittsfield Colonials this thursday night as the team's opening night starter.
"The 35-year-old pitcher, who has appeared in 177 major league games with the Orioles, Indians, Braves, and Astros, has agreed to come out of retirement to be a player/coach for the Colonials. Chad lives in Pittsfield with his wife and two children.
'I really wanted to coach-slash-teach,' Paronto said. 'I guess I'm called the pitching coach, but I just want to teach guys how to pitch a little bit, and share some of the ideologies that I've come across in the 16 years that I've played. I think it's going to be exciting...and the stadium is only about eight-tenths of a mile from my house.'
Jeff Reardon set major league baseball's
all-time saves record. Mike Flanagan won the Cy Young. Former football recruit
Ron Villone pitched in the bigs for 15 years. Matt Torra was a first-round pick
So junior Leif Sorenson of Bradford
should be proud to set the school record for career saves. Even if it is just
"It was definitely a goal," said Sorenson, who has
done it in just two years, as he transferred from Vermont, after the Catamounts dropped
baseball. "It's not a lot so I'm trying to smash it."
Continue reading more of Michael
Muldoon's column, Our College Stars, which also mentions UMass sophomore Dennis Torres.
UMass baseball's own Mitchell Clegg fired his best outing of the year and Potomac knocked off Lynchburg 6-2 from City
Stadium on Friday night.
The Woburn, Mass., native improved to 2-2, only allowing
four hits and never dealing with any significant jams. The one run he allowed
came in the first inning when he hit lead-off man Todd Cunningham and then gave
up a double to Phil Gosselin two batters later. Cunningham came all the way
around from first to score, but by that point, Potomac
had all the runs it needed.
Bill Buckner won't be the only former big leaguer in town
Saturday when the Brockton Rox meet the Pittsfield Colonials in a Can-Am League
exhibition at Forest Park (2 p.m.)
Buckner's the major celebrity as manager of the Rox. As for the Colonials, they
have Chad Paronto, a former University
of Massachusetts pitcher
who spent parts of seven seasons in the majors as a middle reliever.
Paronto, 35, has a dual role as pitcher and pitching coach.
This afternoon, weather permitting, the Portsmouth High School
baseball team will attempt to win the program's 76th straight game when it
plays at Pembroke
That would set a new national high school record for consecutive victories, one
more than Homer (Mich.)
High School won during its run in 2004-05.
Portsmouth's streak began with the 2008 season when current UMass junior hurler Ben Hart led the team to a 23-0 record and the New Hampshire Class I
State Championship, going 9-0 on the mound with 64 strikeouts. Hart was named the New Hampshire Class I Co-Player of the Year that season.
UMass' Mitchell Clegg drew the start for Potomac on Sunday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks and though he did not get the win, Clegg kept the P-Nats in the game, yielding just a run on five hits through 5 1/3 innings.
He was helped by his defense which turned a double play and caught a runner trying to steal. Josh Smoker relieved Clegg with one out in the sixth and was helped by a spectacular diving catch in right field by Hood and a brilliant stab of a grounder and strong throw to first by Francisco Soriano.
The P-Nats won on a walk-off single in the ninth, a 5-4 victory.
Clegg scattered five hits, walked one and struck out two in his outing. He is now 1-2 on the year through six starts with a 5.46 ERA.
Baseball picked up a come-from-behind win vs. Fordham this afternoon, downing the Rams in extra innings after scoring twice in the ninth to extend the contest. Check out the highlights and postgame interviews.
Recently had the opportunity to catch up with former UMass outfielder Nick Gorneault who spent 10 years playing minor league ball and is now a scout for the Los Angeles Angels. Check out the video interview:
Former Minutemen hurlers Matt Torra and Mitchell Clegg drew starts on the mound for their respective clubs on Monday night.
Torra threw a seven inning complete game two-hitter, collecting a win as the Reno Aces swept a doubleheader against the Salt Lake Bees. He allowed two runs, walked one and struck out two en route to the 3-2 victory. Torra is now 2-0 on the season with a 4.50 ERA, throwing 34 innings over six starts with nine walks and 12 strikeouts.
Clegg started, but did not factor into the decision for the Potomac Nationals who fell to the Winston-Salem Dash, 5-3 on the road. The former UMass lefty tossed five innings and allowed two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out three. He is currently 1-2 on the year with a 6.29 ERA in five starts for a total of 24.1 innings with eight walks and 12 Ks.
With the opportunity to play in the illustrious Fenway Park, the Massachusetts baseball team elevated its game to finish off Northeastern in the heart of Boston Tuesday, as the Minutemen (13-21, 5-7 A-10) defeated Northeastern (12-25) 4-2 in the Beanpot consolation game.
UMass coach Mike Stone said after that game that while playing at Fenway "is a treat" for everyone involved, it's even more of a treat if the team plays well and gets victories.
UMass did just that, getting on the board early by plating Anthony Serino after Peter Copa reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop. The Minutemen further capitalized on the Terrier miscue with a two-out triple to right field by Kyle Multner. The triple plated Copa and Tom Conley, who reached on a single.
Mitch Clegg, the former University of Massachusetts pitcher, made some
changes to his offseason conditioning program this past winter that he
hopes will pay off as he pursues his dream of playing in the major
Instead of working out on his own, Clegg's new routine called for
visiting Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning four times a week for
15 weeks. Other athletes who have sought out Boyle in the past include
Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Rich Hill, a Boston
native who pitched for the Red Sox in 2010.
"It is in Woburn, in my hometown, so I really had no excuse not to go,"
said Clegg, a minor league pitcher in the Washington Nationals' farm
system. "I slimmed down and put on some muscle mass. I needed it. I
feel as good as I have in a couple of years."
After pitching seven season in the major leagues, Chad Paronto is coming home.
The 35-year-old city resident signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials in dual roles as pitching coach and starter.
having been invited to spring training by multiple professional clubs,
Paronto decided to hang up his professional career to be closer to his
"I know that I can pitch in the big leagues but that's
the least of my concerns," Paronto said at a press conference Friday. "I
chose to retire for my family."
Last season, Paronto led the
Pawtucket Red Sox in appearances with 54 and posted a 4.22 ERA out of
the bullpen. But at the end of the year, he said he began thinking of
retiring in order to spend more time with his children.
Former Minuteman lefty hurler Mitchell Clegg made his first start of the 2011 season last night with the Potomac Nationals, and helped the team salvage a split of its doubleheader with a 3-2 game two victory.
Clegg did not earn a decision, but threw four innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the seven-inning contest.
Former UMass hurler Matt Torra earned the win in his 2011 debut for the Reno Aces last night as the squad defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 9-1. Torra threw six innings and allowed just one run and scattered five hits, striking out two without walking a batter.
The Minutemen will open up their home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Atlantic 10 foe Dayton, beginning with game one this afternoon on Earl Lorden Field at 3 p.m. Games two and three are set for 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Here is Michael Counos' preview of the series from today's Daily Collegian.
With the minor league season getting underway next week, clubs have begun to announce their opening day rosters. The Reno Aces, the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, unveiled their 2011 Opening Day roster yesterday, which includes former Minuteman Matt Torra.
Torra won 11 games for the Aces last season and set a D-backs Triple-A record with 178.0 innings pitched.
A strong offensive outburst led the Massachusetts baseball team to a 2-1 Atlantic 10 series win against George Washington this weekend.
The Minutemen began the season struggling in the runs category, but have been swinging the bat well in their last two road trips. UMass (6-9, 2-1 A-10) picked up an 8-4 win on Friday before splitting its doubleheader on Saturday.
The Florida trip for the Massachusetts baseball team did not start off as expected, as the squad dropped four consecutive games over the course of last week heading into last Friday's game against Bucknell.
"We started off the season real slow, not being able to help the pitchers out by scoring enough runs," said senior Matt Gedman. "We've been able to come on now and help our pitchers out, and that's been good for us."
UMass has won its past three games, including its most recent game against University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a 9-5 victory, on Sunday.
With starting pitching giving UMass deep, quality outings to go along with the offensive support at the plate, the squad's record stands at 4-8, as Atlantic 10 play creeps closer
The Daily Collegian has this recap of the Minutemen's trip to the Bearkat Invitational last weekend in Huntsville, Texas, and briefly touches on the upcoming spring break trip to Florida.
A look at the team's spring break schedule:
Saturday: vs. Toledo - 9:30 a.m. - Chain of Lakes Park #1 Sunday: vs. Bradley - 5:30 p.m. - Henley Field Monday: vs. Navy - 3:00 p.m. - Chain of Lakes Park Stadium Tuesday: vs. Army - 3:00 p.m. - Chain of Lakes Park Stadium Wednesday: vs. Indiana - 2:00 p.m. - Lake Myrtle Park Main Field Friday: vs. Bucknell - 1:00 p.m. - Lake Myrtle Park Main Field Saturday: vs. Northwestern - 1:30 p.m. - Henley Field Sunday: vs. UMBC - 10:00 a.m. - Lake Myrtle Park Main Field
Former UMass basketball and baseball player Bob Eichorn passes away on Jan. 3, 2011 at the age of 72 in North Adams. He averaged 14.2 points as a senior basketball player in 1959-60. Eichorn was back on campus as recent as Nov. 27 for the Return to the Cage men's basketball game vs. Holy Cross. Here is his obituary.
Robert Richard Eichorn 1938-2011 NORTH ADAMS Mr. Robert Richard Eichorn, 72, of 22 Classic Ave., North Adams, died suddenly Monday, January 3, 2011 at North Adams Regional Hospital after being stricken earlier at home. He was born in Adams, MA on October 7, 1938, son of Robert F. and Ella Kosche Eichorn. He attended Adams schools and graduated from Adams High School with the class of 1956. Bob was an outstanding athlete and was All-Berkshire and All-Western Mass in three sports. Bob continued his athletic career at UMass-Amherst where he played football, basketball, and baseball until his graduation in 1960. After college, he was signed by the New York Yankees and played minor league baseball on their farm team. Bob was named one of the "Top 50 Athletes" in the history of Berkshire County by The Berkshire Eagle as number 15. He was a veteran of the Navy and later served in the Naval Reserves, retiring as a commander He was last employed by Morrison-Berkshire where he was vice-president of international sales and marketing until his retirement. Before that, he worked at the former James Hunter Machine Co. Bob was devoted to his family and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and his cats, "Fred" and "Bella". The first love of his life was the former Marie Patricia Canale, who died on January 9, 1991. They were married on June 8, 1963. He later shared his life with Marie Evans, whom he loved dearly. He also leaves two daughters; Kim Champagne, and her husband, Peter, of Brookfield, Conn.and Bonnie Eichorn-Lee, and her husband, Jeff, of Pittsfield; and Marie Evans' daughter, Michelle Rosier and her husband, James, of Dalton; four grandchildren, Devon and Cody Champagne, Matthew Eichorn, and Jordan Rosier; and nieces and nephews. A sister, Susan Eichorn, is deceased. FUNERAL NOTICE: The funeral for Bob Eichorn will be Friday January 7, 2011 at 10 a.m. at FLYNN & DAGNOLI-MONTAGNA HOME FOR FUNERALS WEST CHAPELS, 521 West Main St. North Adams. Burial will be in the spring in Southview cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home are Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert Eichorn Memorial Scholarship in care of the funeral home