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Happy Birthday Aaron Zaleznik and Joe Popielarczyk

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Happy birthday to UMass Baseball's Aaron Zaleznik and Joe Popielarczyk!

Aaron ZaleznikJoe Popielarczyk

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.

Conley And Fredette Close Out Summer League Seasons

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For a pair of Minutemen, Tom Conley and Eric Fredette, the summer league seasons came to a close last night as their respective teams dropped decisive game threes last night in the NECBL playoffs. The Keene Swamp Bats fell, 10-5, to the North Adams SteepleCats with Conley going 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk at DH before finishing the game behind the plate after an injury to the squad's starting catcher. Fredette had one of Bristol's three hits, batting 1-for-3, as Bristol Collegiate was was edged by the Danbury Westerners, 2-0. The lone UMass player still in action this summer, Aaron Zaleznik, has helped his team, the Elmira Pioneers, advance to the NYCBL Championship series against the Amsterdam Mohawks. Game one of the best-of-three championship series is slated for Friday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m.

Zaleznik Enjoying Success In NYCBL

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Rising-sophomore Aaron Zaleznik has been a big contributor to the Elmira Pioneers' success in the NYCBL this summer. The Pioneers won the regular season title in the West Division with a record of 27-15 and have continued to roll in the playoffs, making quick work of the Alfred Thunder in the divisional semifinals over the weekend. Elmira swept the three-game series, 2-0, and used a stellar outing by Zaleznik to take a 1-0 lead in their divisonal final series against Allegany County. Zaleznik threw seven innings of two-hit shutout ball and picked up the win over the Nitros, walking three and striking out four in the 10-0 victory. The UMass right-hander finished the regular season with a 4-3 record in seven starts and a 2.51 earned-run average in 43.0 innings on the mound, while boasting a NYCBL-leading opponent batting average of .192

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