Baseball

 
Baseball Set For Home-opener With Holy Cross

Junior fireballer Scott Ratliff and the Minutemen look to open the 2004 home campaign against Holy Cross on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.

Junior fireballer Scott Ratliff and the Minutemen look to open the 2004 home campaign against Holy Cross on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.

April 5, 2004

AMHERST, Mass. -

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Game Day Quick Facts
The Teams:
Massachusetts (7-7) vs. Holy Cross (3-13-1)
Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Place: Earl Lorden Field (1,000) Amherst, Mass.

Minutemen Set For Home-Opener Against Holy Cross
WHAT'S ON TAP: The University of Massachusetts baseball team (7-7) welcomes Holy Cross (3-13-1) Tuesday afternoon in the home-opener for the Minutemen on Earl Lorden Field. The Minutemen, who sport a .313 team batting average, enter the contest having not played a game in a week, while Holy Cross enters the game having lost three in a row and six of its last seven.

UMASS BASEBALL ONLINE: Once again, all UMass Baseball home games will utilize Gametracker allowing fans of both teams to follow all the action online. In addition, selected UMass home games will include an audio component enabling fans to listen in on all the action. Click on http://umassathletics.ocsn.com/multimedia/umas-multimedia.html to find the latest, most complete and up-to-date schedule of broadcast times.

SERIES HISTORY: Tuesday's game will be the 62nd match up between UMass and Holy Cross on the baseball diamond with the Maroon & White holding a 34-26-1 advantage in an all-time series that began in 1894. The teams last met during the 2003 regular season with the Minutemen posting a 13-3 victory at Holy Cross. In the teams' first meeting which came during the second regime of Grover Cleveland's Presidency, the Crusaders rolled to 19-10 win. In fact, Holy Cross won the first six consecutive meetings and 13 of the first 14, before UMass put up some wins on its half of the ledger.

SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS: A member of the Patriot League, Holy Cross began the year with a 2-2 tie against Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island down at Bradenton, Fla. The 12-inning game was called due to darkness leaving neither team with a win. Holy Cross proceeded to lose seven of its next eight contests with a 1-0 shutout of Bowling Green accounting for the first win of the year. More recently, the Crusaders lost three out of four to conference foe Navy. Holy Cross has scored more than five runs just once this season (six in a loss at Navy on Sunday), but has been shutout only twice. In his third season at the helm of the Crusaders, head coach Fran O'Brien is in his sixth season as a member of the Holy Cross program. Prior to his arrival in Worcester, O'Brien spent 29 seasons as the head coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1968-1996). A 1955 graduate of Tufts, he was elected into the Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. The Crusaders are led, offensively, by junior catcher Mike Marron leads the team with a .302 batting average and is the only player on the squad hitting over .300. In fact, as a team, Holy Cross sports a .202 team batting average and has just one home run. Additionally, the Crusaders have yet to score a run in the first inning, while allowing opponents to tally 20.

STONE GETS No. 500: With a season-opening win at Rider on Sunday, March 7, 2004, University of Massachusetts baseball head coach Mike Stone earned career win number 500. Already the all-time winningest coach in UMass Baseball history, Stone added another distinction to his resume this past winter as he became the all-time active wins leader among New England Division I baseball head coaches. He began the season with a 499-392-4 record including a 445-302-2 mark at the helm of the Minutemen.

TRIPLE DIME, ANYTIME: Wearing No. 30 out the hill, senior starting pitcher Eric Chown has been at the front end of a powerful Minuteman pitching staff for the past couple of seasons. Already having logged a team-high 27.1 innings this year, including a complete game 10 inning victory over Iowa on Mar. 17, the right hander was a workhorse last season totaling a team-high 72.0 innings pitched including six complete games. As a sophomore in 2002 he ranked second on the squad with 68.2 innings to his credit. Beginning the year with more than 180 collegiate innings under his belt, the Durfee High School product could end his UMass career among the top five Minutemen pitchers in innings pitched all-time (he began the year seventh on the all-time list for pitching appearances with 47). Drafted by the Atlanta Braves following the 2003 campaign (38th round, 1147 overall), Chown opted to return to Amherst for his senior season. A second-team All-Atlantic 10 selection in 2003, he was also a member of the All-Tournament squad.

TORA, TORA, TORA: Sophomore Matt Torra has continued to mow down opposing hitters this season totaling 34 strikeouts in just 24.1 innings this season. A native of Pittsfield, Mass., the second-year standout has shown no signs of a sophomore slump this year. In a 2-1 victory at George Washington on Mar. 27, Torra scattered eight hits over 6.1 innings to earn his team-leading third win of the season. He allowed one run, one walk and totaled nine strikeouts. For the season, Torra holds a 3-1 record with a 3.33 ERA, has fanned 34 batters in only 24.1 innings pitched, and allowed just six extra base hits. In his first start of the season on Mar. 7 at Rider, the right hander fanned a career-high 12 batters. REYNOLDS WRAP: Senior captain Matt Reynolds (South Boston, Mass.) has appeared in every game for the Minutemen this year, toting a team-leading three home runs, 16 RBI and a .304 batting average and 16. This season he has made a smooth transition across the diamond to first base. Having played in 27 games at the hot corner in 2003, the transfer from Maine has been almost flawless making just one error over the first 14 games of the season.

DIRECT FROM THE NEEDHAM LINE: Senior Adam Stojanowski (West Roxbury, Mass.) currently leads the team with a 10-game hitting streak having recorded a hit in every game he has played. Holding a team-leading .395 batting average as well, the versatile infielder is arguably one of the best defensive infielders in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

RAGIN' CAJUN: While it could not be compared to the first win of former major leaguer Bobo Holloman, it was good enough to earn him his first official victory in a Minuteman uniform. Righthanded starter Devin Barnett (New Orleans, La.) hurled seven solid innings allowing just six hits and two runs while striking out five at Sacred Heart on March 30. The Bayou state native picked up his first collegiate victory and stranded eight Pioneers on the base paths. Holloman holds the distinction (along with Charlie Jones and Ted Breitenstein) of tossing a no-hitter in his first major league start. A member of the defunct Saint Louis Browns (who became the Baltimore Orioles following the 1953 campaign), Holloman flamed out by the end of 1953 having never pitched another complete game in his major league career.

RESCHEDULED GAMES: Delays this season have accounted for the latest UMass baseball home-opener in over ten years. The Minutemen opened the 1993 home campaign on April 6 with a 10-1 victory over Amherst College. The UMass and UConn baseball game in Storrs, Conn., postponed from March 23rd has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. The teams will now square off in back-to-back days as the Minutemen will open the home-and-home series at Lorden Field on April 13th at 3:00 p.m. The three-game Atlantic 10 Conference series between the UMass and the Richmond postponed from April 3rd and 4th, will be made up on May 21 and 22, here in Amherst. Additionally, the UMass baseball game against Hartford has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 3:00 p.m., on Lorden Field. Check out www.umassathletics.com for the most up-to-date UMass Baseball schedule. SAVE THE DATE: Prior to the last scheduled Atlantic 10 Conference series against the Temple Owls on Saturday, May 8, the University of Massachusetts Department of Athletics will recognize the 1954 UMass Baseball team, celebrating the 50th anniversary of UMass' first appearance in the College World Series. Under the direction of legendary head coach Earl Lorden, the team went 15-7 that season and won the New England Championship. Advancing to Omaha, Neb., the team won one game before bowing to eventual national champion Missouri, 8-1, on June 12, 1954. In an effort to get as many members of that team reunited on May 8, 2004, anyone who has any contact info regarding members of the squad is asked to contact Tamra Geryk in Athletic Marketing at (413) 545-9596. Be sure to come out for what should certainly be a memorable day in UMass Baseball history.

PRESEASON POLL: In the annual Atlantic 10 preseason coaches poll, UMass was picked to finished first in the Atlantic 10 East Division. Coming off a 26-19 (14-7) record, the 2003 Minutemen advanced to the conference tournament title game before bowing to NCAA Tournament participant, 18th-ranked Richmond.

THE CAPTAINS: Senior second baseman Sean Sarno (Stoneham, Mass.), senior shortstop Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.) and senior first baseman Matt Reynolds will serve as the captains for the 2004 Minutemen.

NOTABLE NOTABLES: As has been the norm for UMass Baseball over the years, the Minutemen get on the scoreboard in the first inning, 17 of of UMass' 92 runs (18.5 percent) have scored in the first frame ... At the other end, the next two highest run-producing innings for UMass, are the eighth and ninth where the Maroon & White have crossed the plate 14 and 11 times respectively ... Junior outfielder Curt Szado (Monson, Mass.) leads the team lead with six multi-hit games, while Mike Athas, sophomore catcher Frank Curreri (Weymouth, Mass,) and Matt Reynolds each have totaled five multi-hit contests ... Curreri also leads the squad with five multi-RBI games ... Sarno is a perfect 19-for-19 on the basepaths during his collegiate career, having started the year 18-for-18, he has added a 1-for-1 figure to that total in 2004.

 

 

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