Rain, rain, go away! Hopefully the skies clear the UMass Sports Medicine staff holds its annual golf invitational and dinner today at The Ledges Golf Club in South Hadley. Come out and support Jeff Smith's (pictured far right) staff. Just Take A Minute has more news on the MLB First-Year Player Draft as well as notes on basketball and lacrosse.
Former UMass running back Matt Lawrence is in minicamp with the Baltimore Ravens. He is mentioned: Unheralded RB Matt Lawrence (FA 2008, UMass) seemed to be in a lot of the the drills, as much as either reserve RB Cedric Peerman or Jalen Parmele.
Former UMass first-round baseball pick Matt Torra picked up his fourth win of the year for the Mobile BayBears in Double AA last night. Torra overcame a shaky start as the BayBears broke a two-game losing streak by beating Tennessee 4-1 at Hank Aaron Stadium Thursday night. Torra (4-6) allowed only one run off nine hits in seven innings and pitched out of a couple of jams.
Two UMass alums Kevin Leveille and Jack Reid were named to the 40-man workout squad for Team USA which will train for the 2010 World Cup of Lacrosse in Manchester, England. Inside Lacrosse has coverage.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: Looking for info on UMass' golf outings? Following today's Sports Medicine event, the next one is set for June 22 as the Friends of Football Golf Outing take place at the Wachusett Country Club, West Boylston, Massachusetts.
Don't miss this: UMass' Tony Gaffney has a workout with the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Look for an update on Monday
Thursday, June 11
Big day for UMass baseball on Wednesday as pitcher Mitchell Clegg was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 21st round. Its the first time since 2005 when UMass had two players selected, that a Minuteman has been picked in MLB's First-Year Player Draft. JTAM has stories on Clegg and more notes related to UMass and the baseball draft.
With two days of the MLB draft complete, it's clear that the Minutemen took the
field against some of the Nation's best this season with over 30 players from
UMass' 2009 opponents being selected by Major League clubs. The list includes
four draftees from Boston College and four from Rhode Island. UMass went a
combined 4-1 against the Eagles and Rams this season, including a 10-3 win
against URI's second-round pick, Eric Smith.
Holy Cross, which is in the middle of a three-game series with UMass in basketball, will have a new coach in 2009-10. Ralph Willard has left to become the associate head coach at Louisville, for UMass alum Rick Pitino. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has extensive coverage.
Don't miss this:The Major League Baseball First-Year Play Draft wraps up on Thursday with rounds 31-50. Check back to see if any UMass players are selected to join Mitchell Clegg.
Wednesday, June 10
Happy Wednesday! On the UMass front, there is news from the academic side where lacrosse player Tim Balise was named the program's first-ever ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American and 12 UMass hockey players earned Hockey East All-Academic honors. Also, women's lacrosse players and coaches (including Acacia Walker and Kristin Blanchette) are on their way to Prague in the Czech Republic for the World Cup starting next week. UMass Hall of Famer Ray Ellerbrook will receive a special honor on Saturday, check JTAM to see what it is.
The Springfield Slamm will play in the Greater Hartford Pro Am League this summer. The team is coached by Dr. Steve Sobel and included on his staff is his son and UMass freshman Ethan Sobel, who also works in the media relations office. The team is expected to include All-America East player Mike Trimboli from Vermont and Joe Trapani of Boston College.
The Vancouver Sun has a feature on Washington star softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie that makes mention of the epic 15-inning game with UMass in the NCAA Regionals.
UMassAthletics.com Feature To Check Out: The UMass softball team finished the year ranked No. 14, its highest ranking since 1999.
Don't miss this:The Major League Baseball First-Year Play Draft continues on Wednesday. Check back to see if any UMass players are selected.
Tuesday, June 9
Welcome back to Just Take A Minute this terrific Tuesday. Today, JTAM has lots of news on lacrosse (past, present and future Minutemen). Also the field hockey team has released its 2009 fall schedule. Find out in what country, basketball alum Brandon Thomas helped his team to the league championship. JTAM also has coaching news from college basketball and college lacrosse with connections to UMass.
FoxSports.com has a report that a UMass alum may be wooing the coach of a UMass opponent to join him on his basketball staff. According to Jeff Goodman, Lousiville coach Rick Pitino (UMass '74) is close to hiring Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard to join the Cardinals staff. Here's a story from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
UMass alum Chris Fiore has been named the Major League Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week. Friday night on Long Island, Fiore netted a total of four goals, the most significant of which came 22 seconds into overtime, to give the Lizards a 14-13 victory over the Cannons, their second win over Boston this season. After a 4-goal streak by Boston in the third quarter, Fiore scored to slow the Cannons comeback with a zip-line shot to the top corner. Heading into overtime, Fiore bull-dodged his way to the net and scored, unassisted. Now in his seventh season in the League, this was Fiore's first ever Offensive Player of the Week honor.
The Western Mass boys high school lacrosse final was played at Garber Field last night and South Hadley topped Longmeadow, 7-6 in overtime. Future Minuteman Kyle Smith, son of former UMass All-American Norm Smith, had a goal and assist for Longmeadow as the Lancers season ended at 15-7. Kyle Smith recorded his 100th point of the season on his first-quarter assist.
The Cape Cod Times has a story on the 10 new Cape Cod League Hall of Famers including UMass alum Orleans first baseman-outfielder John Awdycki.
Here's a cool story, about a pair of UMass alums (non athletes). Alyssa Manzi and Gary Ritter -- who both grew up in North Andover, attended North Andover High School and even both attended UMass, though never crossed paths until years later -- are now one of four engaged couples competing to have their wedding chosen by America and filmed live on the "Today" show next month. The couple -- who appeared in a taped segment on the "Today" show last week after finding out they were chosen from hundreds of entrants in the "Today Throws a Wedding" contest will compete live on the "Today" show this Wednesday, June 10, during the 8 a.m. hour, in their first challenge of the contest.
Last night at the Basketball Hall of Fame close to 100 alums, fans and friends of UMass basketball gathered to watch the premiere of the 100 Seasons of UMass Basketball. The documentary was very well received by those in attendance which included former players Ray Ellerbook, Jason Germain, David Bartley, John Edgar, Jeff Viggiano and Tim Collins along with Rita and Laurie Leaman. Head coach Derek Kellogg and assistants Adam Ginsburg and Antwon Jackson were also on hand to watch the premier. If you missed the showing, purchase your copy for just 29.99. Monday morning brings another golf outing as the Pond Club hosts the hockey golf outing at The Orchards in South Hadley. JTAM also has news on UMass alums in baseball and lacrosse in action this weekend.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a great story on the showing at the Hall of Fame last night.
One of the surprise guests of the 100 Seasons of UMass Basketball premier was 2006 alum Jeff Viggiano, who just completed his season playing professionally in Italy. Playing for Edimes Pavia, Vigg averaged 14.1 points per game along with 3.1 rebounds shooing 55 percent from the floor. Viggiano said he has enjoyed his time in Italy and the competition is great. He has gone up against fellow A-10 alums Danilo Pinnock (George Washington) and David Hawkins (Temple) as well as Boston College's Troy Bell. Viggiano's team went 15-15 losing in the first round of the playoffs.
In more news on Gaffney, the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year will be working out for the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, June 13.
In a big match-up of UMass alums on the lacrosse field, Class of '03 Chris Fiore got the better of 2006 mates Sean Morris and Jack Reid as Fiore led the Long Island Lizards past the Boston Cannons, 14-13 on Saturday. Lizards midfielder Fiore earned the Bud Light MVP after netting four goals in the game, including the game-winner in overtime. Attackman Morris led the Cannons in scoring with four goals and two assists. Reid had two groundballs.
More UMass alums were in action as the Chicago Machine lost to the Denver Outlaws, 15-11 on Sunday. Kevin Leveillie had three goals in the loss and Jake Deane had two goals and two groundballs.
With the Mobile BayBears, UMass alum Matt Torra, suffered a 6-2 loss to the Mississippi Braves on Saturday night allowing 12 hits and four runs in six innings. He is now 3-6 this season. This snipnet from KTAR in Arizona has a piece on Torra from his last outing: Torra threw a complete game three hitter on Sunday, walking just one and striking out four. Add that to his last outing, and he now threw 16 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 4.04. He was named the league's pitcher of the week.