Welcome to the Fourth of July weekend edition of JTAM! UMass Athletics wishes everyone a happy Independence Day on Sunday, and a happy Canada Day to our friends to the north today! Lots of info in this edition of JTAM to get you through the holiday weekend.
Matt Torra will start on the mound Thursday night for the AAA Reno Aces at Las Vegas at 10:05 p.m. ET. The former Minuteman is 4-5 on the season with a 3.95 ERA. He is coming off two straight starts of at least seven innings and allowing two or less runs.
Former UMass swingman Gary Forbes is getting some interest from a pro team in Israel. The Hoops Market and The Hoop both say that Aris Thessaloniki of the Israeli Super League is interested in signing the league's top scorer from last season.
With four weeks until the start of NFL training camps, The Baltimore Sun ran a story on what some of the Ravens' players will be doing for vacation before camp begins. Mentioned is former Minuteman Matt Lawrence's plans for a Cayman Islands getaway with some of his teammates.
The Connecticut Post-Chronicle mentions West Haven's Mike Pereira, who is "highly-rated by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau" will be a freshman for the Mass Attack in the fall.
Several former Minutemen will be in action this weekend in Week 8 action of the Major League Lacrosse season. On Thursday, Jack Reid and the Boston Cannons play at the Toronto Nationals. On Saturday, you can watch four former UMass players in a nationally televised game between the Chicago Machine and Long Island Lizards on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET. Kevin Leveille, Brett Garber, and Diogo Godoi play for the Machine and Chris Fiore plays for the Lizards. The game promo can be viewed by clicking HERE.
The Stratford Brakettes, featuring several former and current Minutewomen, will be in action this weekend, hosting Xtreme Chaos on Thursday and them playing in the Topton July 4th Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The Brakettes are coming off a 6-0 weekend last week at the Linden, NJ Tournament.
The Stratford Star has a story on the injury woes that have struck the Brakettes. The story centers on pitcher Sara Plourde being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her right hip. Brandice Balschmiter has been signed to come back to the Brakettes and pitch the final three weeks of the season.
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
The Springfield Republican has a story on UMass track athlete Kevin Johnson being named the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American Team. The Ludlow native carries a 4.0 GPA in Food Science and Technology while leading the Minutemen to a second-place finish in the Atlantic 10 this season.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: The UMass softball All-Time Record Book has been updated and posted.
Don't Miss This: Looking to watch fireworks on July 4th? HERE is a list of all fireworks displays in Massachusetts listed by city.
We have reached the final day of the first half of 2010 with the final day of June. Happy Birthday to baseball's Kyle Multner. Speaking of baseball, Matt Torra was close to getting a major-league call-up to the Diamondbacks for a Wednesday start at St. Louis, but instead will pitch tonight for the Triple-A Reno Aces. JTAM has an update on a former track star with a new home.
Matt Torra pitches tonight for the Reno Aces in Triple-A. According to the Diamondbacks website Torra was considered for a major league call-up, but Barry Enright but the call for a Wednesday spot start at St. Louis.
TRACK & FIELD
Former UMass track athlete and ABC40 sports reporter Neille Giffune has been hired as a sports anchor by WFMZ TV 69 in Allentown, Pa.. Neille is a 2002 graduate. While at UMass she served as Captain of the UMass Women's Track and Field Team and earned her undergraduate degree in Communications with a Minor in Public Law.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Find out more about the Academic Support Unit by visiting the area's homepage.
Don't Miss This: Three Auctions run through July 1 including an autographed Boston Celtics team basketball.
Lots of football news today as we are a little more than two months away from the start of the 2010 season on Sept. 4. Happy Birthday to Torrey Esalomi of the gridiron squad. Vladimir Ducasse is close to signing with the Jets while Rhode Island could be leaving the CAA Football league. JTAM has all the news. More snipets on baseball and lacrosse as well.
All-time UMass legend Marcel Shipp will hold a clinic for kids in his native Paterson, N.J. The Bergen Record has a story. The third annual Marcel Shipp Football Camp is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 10 at Totowa Oval in Paterson. Shipp, also a Passaic Tech graduate, was an Arizona Cardinals' running back from 2001-2008.
UMass opponent Harvard has interviews former Maryland head coach Dave Cottle. Inside Lacrosse has the story.
The Examiner has a story on Bryan Leigh signing with the Seattle Mariners. Included in the story is a list of notable pro signings in 2010 of UMass products. Leigh joins a list of athletes to go pro this year that includes football players Vladimir Ducasse, who was drafted by the New York Jets, and Victor Cruz (New York Giants), Jeremy Horne (Kansas City Chiefs), Jeromy Miles (Cincinnati Bengals) all signed with NFL teamsas undrafted free agents. Tony Nelson signed with the Toronto Argonauts. Coach Toot Cahoon's hockey team saw several members of the Mass Attack go pro. Casey Wellman lead the way, going directly to the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, while Matt Irwin, James Marcou and Justin Braun all began their careers in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks. Senior winger Will Ortiz began his professional career with a championship as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.
Welcome back to Just Take A Minute. Be sure to get your exclusive UMass football tickets for the game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 23, as the pre-sale for season ticket holders, UMAA and Alumni Association members go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. Call 1-866-UMASS-TIX. Happy Birthday to women's basketball player Stephanie "Fran" Lawrence. JTAM has updates on many alums in action over the weekend in lacrosse and baseball.
Right out of the box this morning, make sure you get in on the exclusive pre-sale for club-level tickets to the UMass football game at New Hampshire at 10 a.m. Call 1-866-UMASS-TIX starting at 10 a.m.
Matt Torra picked up a win, as his Reno Aces beat Colorado Springs 4-1 on Friday. Torra gave up just one run on four hits in seven innings. Torra had not pitched poorly of late -- he had allowed three runs in three of his past five starts -- but had not won in a month. The right-hander was reminiscent Friday of the pitcher who burst on to the scene earlier this season when he gave up three runs or less in his first six starts. "I feel like I'm getting back on track with all my pitches," Torra (4-5) said. "Sometimes you go away from your game plan or something you feel comfortable with. I'm just getting back on track with that."
The Berkshire Eagle has a check-up on alum Matt Torra. A first-round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005, is currently 3-5 with a 4.18 earned-run average for the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League.
Mitchell Clegg suffered his first loss of the season -- after eight wins in a row -- with the Hagerstown Suns as his team lost 4-0 to Hickory over the weekend. Clegg is now 8-1 after throwing a creditable seven innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks, while striking out three.
Nick Serino pitched in his second game as a pro on Sunday, allowing two runs in an inning with the Gulf Coast League Nationals as he suffered the loss in the 6-4 defeat to the GCL Mets.
UMass alums in action in Major League Lacrosse. Attackman Kevin Leveille led the Machine to the 18-14 victory by scoring four goals along with an assist en route to Bud Light MVP honors. He scored all four of his goals in the final 31 minutes as the Machine overcame a three-goal deficit to earn the win. Brett Garber had an assist for Chicago while Diogo Godoi played solid defense for Chicago.
The Boston Cannons rallied to beat the Long Island Lizards, 17-14 with five goals in the fourth quarter. Chris Fiore returned to action for Long Island, but didn't score. Jack Reid had three groundballs for the Cannons.
The Boston Globe announced its All-Scholastic Teams. Several in-coming UMass players are on the first team. Check it out, among the new Minutemen this fall will be James Fahey and Ryan Izzo.
More from the Boston Globe with its girls' lacrosse All-Scholastic teams. Tanner Guarino capped a stellar career at Framingham with a Division 1 state championship. The All-American accumulated 304 points and was named Framingham athlete of the year four times. She will bring her considerable talents to UMass in the fall. Kelsey Sheridan of Chelmsford topped 100 points this season to finish as the Lions' all-time leading scorer. The All-American is a two-time team MVP and Merrimack Valley conference player of the year. She will be playing lacrosse at UMass.
The New England Mutiny picked up a 3-0 win over the Maine Tide on Sunday. Therese Smith continued her strong first campaign for New England in the 55th minute, scoring her third goal of the season. Next up for the Mutiny is a road match at Boston Aztec U-23 (3-1-1 WPSL East-Northeast) on Tues., July 6th before they return to Chicopee Comp. H.S. on Sat., July 10th to face the division-leading Breakers Reserves (6-0-1 WPSL East-Northeast) in the regular season finale.
UMass alum Steve Jungbluth has been named the assistant swimming coach at the University of Florida. He had served as the head coach of Colgate's program since 2003. At Florida, Jungbluth, will be involved with all aspects of the men's and women's programs. Jungbluth earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from UMass in 1994 and a master's degree in exercise science, also from UMass, in 1997. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Minutemen, serving as co-captain during his senior season.
The Bristol Press has its weekly insider with mentions of the UMass players with the Startford Brakettes. Sara Plourde of Bristol, an incoming junior at UMass, joins five other current and former UMass softball players as members of the famed Stratford Brakettes softball team.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Three Auctions run through July 1 including an autographed Boston Celtics team basketball.
Don't Miss This: Simple today ... UMass vs. UNH tickets to the game at Gillette Stadium go on sale at 10 a.m., by calling 1-866-UMASS-TIX or by visiting the Mullins Center box office.