Baseball Ready To Compete In Florida

Derrick Durepo and the Minutemen travel to Florida for seven games, beginning on Saturday.

Derrick Durepo and the Minutemen travel to Florida for seven games, beginning on Saturday.

March 10, 2005

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UMass to play seven games in Fla.
The Minutemen, who enter the weekend 1-5, will play seven games in eight days in the Sunshine State.

UMass owns a 6-8 record since 2002 on their annual trip to Florida.

Perfect Strangers
UMass will play six teams that they have not met often throughout the program's history. Besides Dartmouth, the Minutemen are 12-11 all-time versus the rest of the opposition.

Scouting the opposition

Eastern Kentucky
The Colonels entered Florida with a 1-5 record and will have played four games in Bradenton before UMass faces them. Brett Bolger is batting .556 with five RBI in just three games played, while Chris O'Dell is batting .526 with two homers and six RBI. Andy Polzin (1-0) holds the lone win for EKU in 4.1 innings of work. Eric Anthrop (0-0) has an ERA of 3.86.

The Bulldogs are 0-3 as of March 9. They being their southern swing on the 10th when they face IPFW. In the first three contests, Marc Sawyer and Eric Rasmussen are leading the team in hitting at a .500 clip. C.J. Orrico already has nine RBI while hitting .385. Pitching has been the downfall for Yale thus far, with a team ERA of 9.95.

Miami (Ohio)
As of March 9, the Red Hawks are 2-5. They head into this weekend with a three-game series at Alabama before heading down tot he Sunshine State to take on the Minutemen. Miami took a pair of games from Louisville in Kentucky. At the plate, Eric Radley is hitting a team-best .381 while Brandon Hillier is close behind coming in at .353. On the mound, Keith Weiser and Graham Taylor are setting the pace for Miami. Weiser has a 2.19 ERA in two starts while Taylor owns a 2.63 ERA in two starts with 19 punchouts.

The Bison enter the Sunshine State with a 0-6 record, getting swept by Virginia and Liberty in three-game sets. Kyle Walter is atop the team in hitting with a .333 batting avaerage with six RBI. Bucknell has been outscored 42-19 in their six games. The bright spot on the mound has been Matt Curry (0-1), who has a 2.45 ERA in two appearances.

The Big Green, who are the preseason favorites to win the Ivy League title, will play its first game of the season against Massachusetts on March 17 at 3:30 PM. Its only other scheduled contest, a weekend series against Lafeyette, was cancelled due to weather.

Dartmouth is led by a solid core of infielders, beginning with senior second baseman Josh Bailey, who batted .348 with 29 RBI a season ago. Senior first baseman Jeff Speights batted .324 with a team-leading eight home runs and 52 RBI. Junior third baseman Tommy Myette was second on the team in batting average a year ago, hitting .393. He also drove in 38 runs. Josh Faiola leads the Big Green on the mound. In 2004, he went 5-1 with a 3.43 ERA. In addition, freshman shortstop Erik Bell earned preseason Top Newcomer accolades in the conference.

Illinois State
The Red Birds are 4-6 entering their trip to Bradenton. Ryan Anetsberger leads the team in batting, hitting .382 with four RBI. Jay Molina is batting .329 with a team-leading two home runs and 11 RBI. On the hill, Matt Fowles (1-0) has a 2.89 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched while Dan Frega (1-2) holds a 3.06 ERA with 11 strikeouts.

The Black Knights travel to Florida riding a 1-5 record. Their lone win came against Duke after being swept by the College of Charleston. The offense is being led by Milan Dinga, who is batting a team-high .375 with three RBI. Nate Stone is batting .308 with a team-high five RBI. On the mound, Nick Hill holds a 1-0 record with a 1.13 ERA, while Justin Kashner has a 1.74 ERA in two appearances.

The major problem for the Minutemen offense so far this season has been getting a hit with runners in scoring position. In six games, UMass is hitting just .103 (4-39) with the opportunity to score.

For the season, UMass is hitting at a .188 clip while opponents have rocked Minutemen pitching for a .343 batting average.

Torra! Torra! Torra!
Junior Matt Torra has shut down opponents in the batter's box. In the season opener against New Orleans, Torra tossed seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out 10.

In the first game in Delaware, Torra fanned 14 en route to a no decision. He threw eight innings, allowed seven hits and two runs.

For the season, Torra has an ERA of 1.20 while striking out 24 in 15 innings. Opponents are hitting a mere .214 when he is on the hill.

Minutemen Swept In Delaware
Last weekend, the Minutemen traveled to Delaware to take on the Unniversity of Delaware in a three-game set. The games were played at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown, Del. due to poor field conditions in Newark.

In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Delaware took a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the fifth on the shoulders of a Dan Kozek RBI double. UMass tied the game in the top of the seventh when senior Jason Twomley blasted a two-run homer over the left field wall.

The Minutemen were held at bay until the top of the 10th, the third extra inning, when sophomore Anthony Santos led off the inning with a single. a groundout and a flyout allowed Santos to reach third, but Twomley could not play hero again, as he was caught looking for the third out.

The Fightin' Blue Hens came out in their half of the 10th with a leadoff double by Adam Tsakonas. A groundout advanced Tsakonas to third, and UMass walked the next two batters to intentionally load the bases. Dave Harden stepped to the plate next and whacked the winning run in on a single to left field.

In the second game of the day, Delaware put the game out of reach in the first inning by crossing the plate nine times. Brandon Menchaca led off the game with a home run and later tripled in another run in the same inning. The Hens went on to win the game 13-3.

Senior Curt Szado went 2-for-2 with a run scored while Twomley belted his second home run of the day in the loss.

The Blue Hens started game three right where they left off in game two. The Hens scored a run in every inning except for one en route to a 13-1 win. Menchaca led off the game with his second straight leadoff home run to begin the scoring.

For the Minutemen, junior Derrick Durepo and freshman Bryan Garrity accounted for all of the hits, both going 2-for-4. Senior Curt Szado drove in the only run of the game on a groundout, as he drove in sophomore Bryan Adamski.

UMass Goes 1-2 In New Orleans
In game one, the University of Massachusetts went into the bottom of the ninth leading 2-1. The Privateers managed to put runners on first and third with no outs. A single tied the game up at 2-2, and intentional walks then loaded the bases. Freshman Chris Sargoy came on in relief of freshman Jason Lavorgna, and walked the winning run. Junior Matt Torra sparkled in his first start of the season, pitching seven innings and allowing five hits while striking out 10. Junior Derrick Durepo paced the Minutemen from the leadoff spot, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Sophomore Michael Weiner collected the other two hits for UMass, batting 2-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Curt Szado drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

In the second game of the series, the Privateers exploded for 14 runs while shutting out the Minutemen, 14-0. UMass was only able to muster six hits from three players in this contest. Senior Jason Twomley, freshman Dan Coury, and freshman Zach Thomas all had two hits apiece.

In the series finale on Feb. 27, Szado went 4-for-4 with 2 RBI, including the game-winner, to lead UMass to a 4-3 win over New Orleans. Junior pitcher Jeremy Demers shined on the mound, going eight strong while allowing eight hits and two earned runs.

UNO opened the game in the bottom of the first with a run. In the top of the fifth, UMass fought back and loaded the bases thanks to two hits and Twomley walk. Sophomore Bill Rankin forced another walk, scoring the first run of the inning for the Minutemen. Durepo drove in the second run on a sacrifice fly to to left, while Szado capped the scoring with an RBI double down the right field line.




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