Top Of The Order - Massachusetts faces Davidson twice this weekend and North Carolina A&T in between the two meetings. The Minutemen have never faced the Wildcats or the Aggies. - UMass was swept last weekend by the Maryland Terrapins of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which included an extra-innings defeat in the final game of the series.
Plate Production - Sophomore John Jennings continues to lead Massachusetts with the bat, currently batting .275 and starting five of the team’s six games. Jennings scored the tying run in what became a pitcher’s duel last Sunday versus Maryland. - Kellen Pagel has quickly shown improvement in his ability to get on base, drawing three walks on the season and netting his first extra base hit of the campaign last weekend. In 2013, he tallied three extra base hits. - Freshman Dylan Morris (Barnstable, Mass.) earned his first collegiate hit in game three of UMass’ series against Maryland.
Making Strides On The Mound - Despite receiving the loss, senior Aaron Plunkett was solid in relief for the Minutemen in the finale of last weekend’s series. The native of Essex Junction, Vt. tossed 5.1 innings, allowing only one run on three hits. - The firsts continue for UMass, as Mike Geannelis made his first start in game three of last weekend’s series. Geannelis had previously appeared out of the bullpen against Army on Feb. 23.
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 687-671-3 (.507) overall with a 633-581-3 (.523) mark at UMass
Later In The Rotation - The Minutemen will face the Army Black Knights once again next weekend for a three-game series beginning on Saturday, Mar. 15. - Atlantic 10 action as well as UMass’ home opener continues to approach. The Minutemen will play host to the La Salle Explorers at Earl Lorden Field, beginning a three-game series, on March 21 at 3 p.m.