Baseball Resumes A-10 Play With Series At URI

April 4, 2013

 Massachusetts (3-15, 0-3 A-10) at Rhode Island (12-15, 1-2 A-10)
Dates  Friday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m.
 Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 p.m.
 Sunday, April 7 at 12:00 p.m.
Location  Bill Beck Field | Kingston, R.I.
Weather Forecast

 Friday: Showers, 52 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 50%
 Saturday: Sunny, 49 Degrees | Chance of Rain 0%
 Sunday: Partly Cloudy, 54 Degrees | Chance of Rain 10%

UMass Probables

 Friday: RHP D.J. Jauss (1-3, 2.90 ERA)
 Saturday: RHP Andrew Grant (1-3, 6.48 ERA)
 Sunday: LHP Jordan Pace (1-2, 3.15 ERA)

Rhode Island Probables
 Friday: RHP Mike Bradstreet (3-3, 4.10 ERA)
 Saturday: RHP Sean Furney (3-2, 1.48 ERA)
 Sunday: LHP Steve Moyers (2-1, 2.86 ERA)
Live Audio
 WRIU 90.3 FM
Live Video
Live Stats
 Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Social Media

@UMassAthletics | @UMassBaseball | @RhodyBaseball

 Game Notes

Scouting Rhode Island
- Rhode Island enters the weekend series with a 12-15 overall record a 1-2 mark in Atlantic 10 play and a 5-4 record at home. In their most recent game, the Rams fell to Central Connecticut, 4-0.
- As a team, the Rams are batting .251 on the season with a single home run and 31 doubles. They have swiped 55 bags on the season as a unit. 
- The pitching staff has produced a 4.23 earned run average so far this season with 186 strikeouts and 96 walks over 234 innings. Sean Furney anchors the staff with his 1.66 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 48.1 innings pitched.
-UMass holds a 103-64 record all time against Rhode Island. However, the Minutemen have dropped their last four games against the Rams, dating back to 2011. The squads last met in the Atlantic 10 Tournament last season, a 6-5 victory for URI.

Who’s Hot
- Several Minutemen have come alive at the plate recently as redshirt sophomore Adam Picard, junior Nik Campero and redshirt junior Ryan Cusick are all hitting .316 and higher over the past five games.
- Picard, who has seen action in four of those five contests, is 7 for his last 16 (.438) and currently tied for the team’s longest active hitting streak at five games.
- Cusick is batting .333 (6-for-19) over the past five games and leads the team in RBI (4) and runs scored (4) during that span. The second baseman has gone his last 19 at bats without a strikeout and extended his reached base streak to 12 this past Wednesday with a 2-for-3 showing against Northeastern. The 12-game streak is the longest by any Minuteman this season.

LeBlanc Has Best Outing Of The Season
- Sophomore Conor LeBlanc had his best start of the season this past Wednesday at Northeastern, throwing a season-long 7.1 innings and striking out five while letting up just two earned runs.
- The five strikeouts was second only to his career high 11 in the 2012 Beanpot Championship game against Harvard.

Home Sweet Home
- The Minutemen opened their home schedule last Friday and Saturday by taking two out of three games against NJIT. UMass went 14-6 at home last season, including winning seven of its last eight at Earl Lorden Field.

Cusick Approaching A Milestone
- Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick currently leads UMass in stolen bases this season as he is 12-for-14 on the year, accounting for 30% of the squad’s stolen bases total.
- Cusick now has 42 stolen bases in his career (43-for-53) and is two shy of becoming the first Minuteman to break into the program's career stolen bases list since 2002. He needs just seven more to become the eighth UMass player in history to reach the 50 steals mark.
- In 2012, Cusick finished tied for third in the Atlantic 10 with 23 stolen bases in 39 games played. He ranked 15th in the nation in stolen bases per-game (0.59). Cusick is currently averaging .71 stolen bases per-game this year and entered the week tied for fifth in the Atlantic 10 in stolen bases.

Minutemen Snag First Shutout Of Season
- UMass collected its first shutout of the season last Saturday as sophomore Andrew Grant and senior Ron Wallace combined to blank NJIT, 1-0 in the first game of a doubleheader, limiting the Highlanders to just two hits. 
- Grant worked seven innings in the start, his longest outing of his career to date. Wallace threw two hitless innings in his first appearance of the year and collected his first career save. 

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.

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); Ben Panunzio (3/30 vs. NJIT)
- First career doubles: Paul Yanakopulos (3/2 vs. Tennessee); Jeff Cavanaro (3/3 vs. Ohio); Vinny Scifo (3/29 vs. NJIT)
- First career triples: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Ben Panunzio (3/30 vs. NJIT)
- First career RBI: Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); John Jennings (3/29 vs. NJIT)
- 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 2.2 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. 

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.
- In 2013 the Minutemen have stolen 39 bases (39 for 45) over 18 contests to rank 14th in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at .2.31
- Rich Graef (4th, 12), Rob McLam (t-5th, 11) and Nick Sanford (t-5th, 11) all set top-10 single season marks in the UMass record book for sacrifice bunts last season.

Young Arms

- The UMass pitching staff is 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 23 strikeouts to nine walks over 34.1 innings of work, while Jauss is second on the squad in innings pitched at 31.0 and holds a team-best 2.90 earned run average.

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 host to Boston College on Wednesday, Apr. 10, at 3:00 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field, the teams’ first round Beanpot game.



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