Home Slate Begins For UMass Baseball With NJIT

March 28, 2013

 Massachusetts (1-12) vs. NJIT (6-12)
Dates  Friday, March 29 at 3:00 p.m.
 Saturday, March 30 at 12:00 p.m. (Doubleheader)
Location  Earl Lorden Field | Amherst, Mass.
Weather Forecast  Friday: Mostly Sunny, 54 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 20%
 Saturday: Sunny, 54 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%
UMass Probables  Friday: RHP DJ Jauss (0-3, 3.33 ERA)
 Saturday (GM1): RHP Andrew Grant (0-3, 9.00 ERA)
 Saturday (GM2): LHP Jordan Pace (1-2, 2.93 ERA)
NJIT Probables
 Friday: TBA
 Saturday (GM1): TBA
 Saturday (GM2): TBA
Live Video
Friday | Saturday (Doubleheader)
GameTracker Friday | Saturday (GM1) | Saturday (GM2)

Social Media

@UMassAthletics | @UMassBaseball

 Game Notes

Scouting NJIT
- NJIT comes to UMass with a 6-12 record after dropping two of three games against Rider. The squad has played the majority of its schedule away from Newark, N.J., and holds a 6-10 mark in those contests.
- The Highlanders are currently batting .217 as a team with 16 doubles, five triples, and two home runs. Ed Charlton paces the squad, as he is hitting .282 (20-for-71) with a pair of home runs and 12 runs driven in.
- NJIT sports a pitching staff that has produced a 4.49 earned run average over 148.1 innings with 109 strikeouts and 51 walks. Opponents have hit at a .296 clip against them.
- Mark Leiter Jr. boasts a team-best 35 strikeouts over 37.1 innings of work and holds a 3.38 ERA with a record of 3-3 in six starts.

Going The Distance
- Senior Jordan Pace tossed UMass’ first complete game of the season last weekend, going all nine innings in a 1-0 setback to George Washington. It marked Pace’s fourth career complete game as he had three in 2011 at Presbyterian.
- Junior DJ Jauss and Pace are both averaging over 6.0 innings per-start, Pace has worked six, seven and nine innings in his three starts this season thus far.

Power Emerging
- UMass’ hitters have hit the squad’s first three home runs and seven of the team’s 12 doubles on the season over the past seven games.
- Three of junior Dylan Begin’s four hits on the year have gone for extra bases with a pair of home runs and a double. Redshirt sophomore Adam Picard has the squad’s other home run and is tied with junior Rob McLam for the team lead in doubles with three.

Balanced Bats
- In UMass' opening weekend at the Irish Classic, six or more players had hits in each of the team's three games. Out of the 13 hitters that had at least one at bat over the weekend, 10 scored at least one run and eight of the 13 had at least one RBI.

Welcome Relief
- The Minutemen bullpen was one of the team's biggest strengths at the Irish Classic.  Four pitchers threw a combined 13.2 innings of relief for UMass and did not allow an earned run while holding opponents to a .106 batting average (5-for-47).
- Sophomore Dan Stoops has been one of UMass’ top performers out of the bullpen thus far. In 10.0 innings over five appearances, he has limited opponents to a .143 batting average and holds a 1.80 earned run average with five walks and eight strikeouts.

Career Firsts
- First career games: John Jennings (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Zach Littman (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); Kellen Pagel (3/9 at Lamar); Ben Panunzio (3/17 vs. Manhattan)
- First career hits: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); John Jennings (3/15 at Seton Hall); Kellen Pagel (3/17 vs. Manhattan)
- First career doubles: Jeff Cavanaro (3/3 vs. Ohio)

- First career triples: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame)

- First career RBI: Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio)

- First career pitching appearance: Pat Lia (3/9 at Lamar); Evan Mackintosh (3/9 at Lamar); Adam Picard (3/9 at Lamar); Mason Trubey (3/9 at Lamar)

Picard Displays Versatility
- In UMass’ second game of a doubleheader at Lamar, redshirt sophomore outfielder Adam Picard made his first collegiate pitching appearance. Picard tossed a scoreless eighth for the Minutemen, facing four batters. He currently holds a 0.00 earned run average over two innings of work.
- The 2010 Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year, Picard logged an 18-2 record on the mound in high school for Essex and struck out 110 batters in 131 career innings pitched. As a senior, he was 8-0 with a 1.30 earned run average.

Cusick's Five Hit Game
- In the Minutemen’s win against Ohio, redshirt-junior Ryan Cusick went 5-for-5 for a career high. It marked the first five-hit game since 2011 when Matt Gedman went 5-for-6 at Hartford on Mar. 31. 

Hello Again
- The Minutemen are returning virtually all of their offense from last year with eight of nine position starters returning, the lone exception being four-year starting catcher Tom Conley.

- UMass brings back 87% of its runs scored, 86% of its hits and 82% of its RBI. Eight returnees had 100-plus at bats last year, with junior Rob McLam falling just shy at 98 at bats last season.

- McLam led the Minutemen in batting average last year at .337 (33-for-98) followed by assistant captain senior Rich Graef's .333 average (46-for-138). 

Small Ball At Its Finest
- UMass finished the 2012 season eighth nationally as a team in sacrifices with 79 and 23rd nationally in stolen bases per game with 70 over 44 contests, an average of 1.59 per game.
- Individually, redshirt junior Ryan Cusick was 23-for-29 on the basepaths to lead the Minutemen. He ranked 15th in the nation in stolen bases per-game (0.59).Cusick is currently averaging .58 stolen bases per-game this year and has swiped a team-high seven thus far in 12 games played.
- As a team, UMass was a perfect 9-for-9 on the basepaths at George Washington last weekend. On the year, the squad has stolen 26 bases in 30 attempts.
- Rich Graef (4th, 12), Rob McLam (t-5th, 11), Nick Sanford (t-5th, 11) and Anthony Serino (t-7th, 10) all set top-10 single season marks in the UMass record book for sacrifice bunts last season.

Young Arms

- The UMass pitching staff will be a young one in 2013 after the departure of four senior arms in 2012, including Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year Joe Popielarczyk, along with Dennis Torres, who turned pro following his junior season.

- The only returning Minutemen who made multiple starts in 2012 are sophomores Conor LeBlanc and Andrew Grant. LeBlanc was 4-1 with a 3.37 ERA over 34.2 innings in 12 appearances, five starts last season and earned Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors. Grant finished with a mark of 1-1 over eight appearances and three starts, a total of 22.1 innings and posted a 5.24 ERA. Over Grant's last five appearances of his freshman season, his final 16.0 innings of work in 2012, he posted a 1.12 ERA with an opponent batting average of .185.

- The 2013 UMass staff includes freshmen righthanders Rob O'Neil, Mason Trubey and Brandon Walsh and lefthander Evan Mackintosh. Sophomore Pat Lia did not see action last season and Dan Stoops made one appearance before being sidelined for the remainder of the year with an injury. 

Added Experience
- The Minutemen have added experience in its pitching staff with a pair of transfers, DJ Jauss and Jordan Pace. Both are graduate students, eligible to play immediately after graduating from East Carolina and Presbyterian, respectively. Jauss has two remaining seasons of eligibility, while Pace has one. Pace started in 13 games for Presbyterian in 2012.

- Pace's performance was one of the highlights of the Irish Classic for the Minutemen. In two appearances on the weekend, a total of 5.2 innings of work, he gave up just one hit, a single, walked two and struck out seven. Opponents hit just .053 against him (1-for-19).
- Pace boasts a team-leading 20 strikeouts to seven walks over 27.2 innings of work, while Jauss is second on the squad in innings pitched at 24.1.

- Several Minutemen carried over reached base streaks of five games or more from 2012.
- Rob McLam: 12-game reached base streak (six-game streak entering 2013-Mar. 15 at Seton Hall)

- Nik Campero: 10-game reached base streak (four-game streak entering 2013-Mar. 15 at Seton Hall)

- Kyle Adie: Active five-game reached base streak 

- Rich Graef: 11-game reached base streak (six-game streak entering 2013, reached base in five straight to start the season).
- Redshirt-sophomore Adam Picard has posted the longest streaks this season, both for hits (seven games) and for reaching base (nine games). Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick holds the longest active streak, currently having reached base in seven straight.

Beanpot Back In Fenway In 2013

- The championship/consolation games of the Beanpot Tournament will return to Fenway Park in 2013 and will be held on Monday, Apr. 29.

- UMass will host its first round Beanpot game vs. Boston College on Wednesday, Apr. 10, at 3 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field.

- The Minutemen captured their sixth Beanpot title in 2012 with an 8-7 win over Harvard at LeLacheur Park on Apr. 18 in Lowell, Mass. 

Up Next

- UMass will play five games on the road next week, beginning with a 3 p.m. matchup Monday, Apr. 1, at Siena.



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