Leading Things Off - Massachusetts opens its second series of the season this weekend, after being dealt a sweep at the hands of the Army Black Knights. - The Minutemen and Terrapins first faced off in the 1968 season and meet this weekend for the first time since 1971. UMass holds an overall series record of 2-3. - In addition to Maryland, UMass will face Boston College later this season (Apr. 2) to conclude its competition versus teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Plate Production - Of the nine players on UMass’ roster with at least five at-bats, seven currently maintain a batting average at or above the Mendoza Line (.200). - Freshman Mike Geannelis leads the Minutemen with an average of .375, including a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored last weekend versus Army. - The young blood of the Minutemen is also composed in part by sophomore John Jennings. The native of Newton, Mass. is off to a hot start in 2014, batting .300 with two doubles after starting each game in last weekend’s series versus Army.
On The Bump - In addition to his work with the bat, Mike Geannelis has also seen action on the mound, tossing two-thirds of an inning in the series finale versus Army last weekend. Geannelis was perfect in his brief appearance and earned one strikeout. - UMass' pitching performance last weekend was highlighted in part by the work of Ryan Moloney, a freshman from Londonderry, N.H. His opponents batted just .185 in eight complete innings, during which he surrendered only two earned runs and sent two batters down by way of the ‘K’.
Bats Back - The Minutemen return 25 members from the 2013 roster, including seven of its nine regular starters in the field, but will be without the services of All-Atlantic 10 DH Rob McLam who will redshirt the 2014 season. - The returnees who will see action this season accounted for 50% of the tam's runs scored, 65% of its RBI and 69% of its extra base hits in 2014, including eight of nine home runs. - Senior Nik Campero is the team's top returning hitter for average after hitting .305 (50-for-164) last season with 20 RBI. Redshirt junior Adam Picard posted a .300 average in 2013 (42-for-150) and led the Minutemen with 31 RBI, while matching senior Dylan Begin for the team lead in home runs (4) last spring.
On The Mound - UMass returns 264.9 of its 398.1 innings from last season including five individuals who made at least one start on the mound in 2013. - Among those back for 2014 is senior DJ Jauss who posted a 4.04 ERA last year with 35 strikeouts in 49.0 innings. - Right-handed pitcher Andrew Grant started all 12 games that he appeared in as a sophomore in 2013 and led the Minutemen in wins (3) and strikeouts (58). - The Minutemen welcome five freshman arms to the pitching staff: Mike Geannelis, Tommy McDonald, John Mione, Ryan Moloney and Ryan Venditti.
Nearing Another Mile-Stone - Head coach Mike Stone is entering his 27th season at the helm for the Minutemen and his 32nd overall as a head coach. - Stone begins 2014 just 13 wins away from his 700th of his career. Overall he is currently 687-668-3 (.507) overall with a 633-578-3 (.523) mark at UMass
Moving Through The Lineup - Following this weekend’s action against the Terrapins, Massachusetts will travel to Davidson, N.C. for two games against Davidson College (Mar. 7, Mar. 9) and one in between versus North Carolina A&T (Mar. 8).