March 19, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. -
After returning to winning ways on Thursday at VCU, the UMass baseball team will look to keep things going as the squad will open up Atlantic 10 play this weekend with a three-game series at Richmond. The Minutemen (4-7) will start off with a 3 p.m. contest against the Spiders (9-4) on Friday afternoon, followed by games on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and noon, respectively. Gametracker and live video coverage will be available for all three contests.
Schedule And Weekend Pitching Matchups
• Friday (3/20) at Richmond (Richmond, Va.) – 3 p.m. – Gametracker | Watch
RHP Jared Freni (0-1, 4.34 ERA) vs. RHP Stephen Owens (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
• Saturday (3/21) at Richmond (Richmond, Va.) – 2 p.m. – Gametracker | Watch
LHP Mitchell Clegg (1-0, 3.93 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Zielinski (1-0, 5.52 ERA)
• Sunday (3/22) at Richmond (Richmond, Va.) – 12 p.m. - Gametracker | Watch
RHP Mike DiCato (1-2, 7.63 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Marshall (1-1, 8.82 ERA)
• Richmond holds a 13-6 advantage in the series against UMass, which began in 1970.
• The last win for the Minutemen came in the first game of the teams’ three-game set in Amherst in 2007. UMass took the opening contest, 5-4, but the Spiders won the series after posting victories in games two (3-1) and three (6-4).
• The Minutemen have never taken a series against Richmond in regular or postseason play (0-5 all-time).
Serino Stifles VCU
• Sophomore Nick Serino fanned a career-high 11 batters over six scoreless innings, helping UMass to a 4-3 victory over Virginia Commonwealth at The Diamond on Mar. 18.
• The Rams had won seven of their past nine games entering the contest.
• Serino earned the victory (1-1), scattering three hits and walking five. He did not allow a hit until the fourth inning.
• His 11 strikeouts were the most by a Minuteman since Apr. 16, 2005, when Matt Torra fanned 16 batters in 10.2 innings against Saint Joseph's.
• The start was the first of the season for the lefthander, who has appeared in five games for a total of 10.0 innings and leads the team with 18 strikeouts on the year.
• Serino’s previous career high for strikeouts (7) came in a start at George Washington on Apr. 6, 2008. He worked 6.1 innings in that contest.
Well Rounded Offense
• Led by senior co-captain Adam Tempesta’s .421 batting average (16-for-38), six Minutemen are hitting .300 or better through the squad’s first 11 games.
• Eight different players have scored five runs or more and seven have at least five RBI.
• The team’s seven homeruns have come from six different players. Senior Jim Macdonald was the latest to hit one out, belting his first of the season and seventh of his career against VCU on Mar. 18.
• Junior Mike Gedman has seen limited action out of the bullpen thus far, but has made the most of the three innings he’s pitched over three appearances, picking up a pair of saves in big wins over Arizona (9-8) and VCU (4-3).
• Gedman has faced 10 batters, striking out five, with one walk and has yet to allow a hit.
• UMass has six triples in 11 games, already surpassing the team total from last year. The Minutemen registered five three-baggers in 45 games in 2008.
• Six triples is the highest total by a UMass squad since the team belted eight in 2006.
Rookie Gets The Nod Behind The Plate
• In a lineup laden with upperclassmen, freshman Tom Conley has started behind the plate in nine of UMass’ first 11 contests.
• The Boston College H.S. grad is currently hitting .286 with four RBI and three runs scored. Conley's first career RBI came against Fairfield (3/1).
• He posted a pair of doubles in UMass' win over Arizona (3/7) and finished the night 3-for-4 at the plate with three-RBI.
• After just one week in a Minuteman uniform, junior Austin Weymouth made a return to his home state when the team traveled west to play at Arizona on Mar. 6-8.
• Weymouth, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., transferred to UMass from Scottsdale Community College where he helped the team advance to the Division II JuCo World Series in 2007.
• So far at UMass, Weymouth has played in 10 of the team’s 11 games, starting nine, and is hitting .316 (12-for-38) with six RBI and seven runs scored.
• Weymouth hit his first homerun as a Minuteman on Mar. 1 against Fairfield.
• With four wins on the season, UMass head coach Mike Stone is now just eight victories away from his 600th overall as a head coach. Stone currently holds a 592-538-4 mark in 26+ seasons. He is 538-448-2 as the frontman for the Minutemen (21+ seasons).
Minutemen Post Big Win Out West
• The Minutemen never put down their bats as they scored in five of the nine innings to squeeze past the Arizona Wildcats on Mar. 7, marking the first time UMass had taken down a Pac-10 opponent since 1982 when the Minutemen defeated UCLA, 11-7.
• Mitchell Clegg got the nod and the win for UMass as he struck out nine in his seven innings pitched, scattering five hits.
• In the top of the ninth, junior Mike Donato posted what would be the winning run for the UMass after launching the ball over the left field wall for his first homerun of the season.
Starting Off On A Good Note
• Sam Boone hit his first career home run on Feb. 27 in a 4-3 triumph over Northwestern, helping propel the Minutemen to their first victory in a season opener since 2004. Junior Mike Gedman hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning of a 3-3 game to bring in Mike Donato for what would be the winning run. Senior Mitchell Eilenberg earned the win on the mound, pitching 2.2 innings of relief.
• UMass' 9-8 victory over Arizona on Mar. 7 brought the squad's record to 3-2, marking the best five-game start for the Minutemen since 2002 (3-2).
An Offensive Explosion
• UMass posted 25-4 triumph over Fairfield on Mar. 1, marking the most runs the squad has scored since the school record was set with 32 runs against another team from the Nutmeg State, Central Connecticut on April 20, 1993.
• Against the Stags, the Minutemen pounded out 20 hits, including five doubles, two homeruns and a school-record four triples. The previous mark was three, set many times.
• Sophomore Peter Copa paced the squad with a career-best six RBI and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. Senior Adam Tempesta and junior Brian Baudinet had four RBI apiece.
• UMass will play its closest game to home yet, taking on Hartford in Hartford, Conn., next Wednesday, Mar. 25, at 3 p.m.
• The Minutemen lead the series with the Hawks, 17-9, picking up a 7-5 win in Amherst last season.