Baseball

 
Baseball Opens Beanpot Vs. Boston College

April 9, 2013

 Massachusetts (4-17) vs. Boston College (5-25)
Date  Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
Location  Earl Lorden Field | Amherst, Mass.
Weather Forecast

 Showers, 67 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 40%

UMass Probable

  LHP Conor LeBlanc (0-3, 5.66 ERA)

Boston College Probable
 RHP Matt Alvarez (1-1, 5.40 ERA)
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 Game Notes

Scouting Boston College
- The Boston College Eagles sit with a 5-25 record on the season with a 3-16 record on the road. Over their last five games, the Eagles have gone 2-3.
- As a team, BC has belted seven home runs and collected 194 hits so far this season. Chris Shaw has shown the bulk of the power  in the lineup, as he has hit four home runs while also driving in 12. John Hennessy leads the squad with a .258 batting average and has contributed 11 RBI.
- The pitching staff of the Eagles has a 6.57 collective earned run average with 166 strikeouts over 252 innings pitched. Jesse Adams has been a frequently-used option out of the bullpen, pitching in 13 contests and fanning 23 batters in his 21 innings, yielding the best strikeout rate on the team.
- The Minutemen hold a 34-21 all-time record against the Eagles. The last game between these two teams ended in an 8-4 victory for UMass on Apr. 13, 2010.

Who's Hot
- Juniors Nik Campero and Rob McLam have been pacing the UMass offense as of late. Over five games last week, Campero hit .400 (8-for-20) with three mutli hit games and four RBI. McLam .hit .389 (7-for-18) over that span, including a 4-for-4 day on Friday at Rhode Island, tying his career single game high in hits.

Beanpot Bits
- UMass is 17-16 all-time in the Beanpot since first playing in the tournament in 1996 and captured its sixth Beanpot title in 2012 with an 8-7 win over Harvard at LeLacheur Park on Apr. 18 in Lowell, Mass., after defeating Northeastern in the first round, 4-1.
- The championship/consolation games of the Beanpot Tournament will return to Fenway Park in 2013 and will be held on Monday, Apr. 29.

Grant Shutting Down Opposition
- Last Saturday at URI, sophomore Andrew Grant hurled tossed the first complete game shutout for the Minutemen since Mitchell Clegg went the distance in a 3-0 victory over Saint Joseph's on Apr. 17, 2009. Grant allowed just four hits in the 2-0 blanking of the Rams, all singles.
- Grant was also a part of UMass' first shutout of the season in his previous start, combining with senior Ron Wallace for a 1-0 win over NJIT, limiting the Highlanders to just two hits. Dating back to Mar. 22 at George Washington, Grant currently has a streak of 17 straight shutout innings and has allowed just six hits during that span, limiting opponents to a .115 batting average (6-for-52) over that span.

LeBlanc Has Best Outing Of The Season
- Sophomore Conor LeBlanc had his best start of the season last 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 by taking two out of three games against NJIT, Mar. 29-30. 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 27% 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 .63 stolen bases per-game this year and entered the week seventh in the Atlantic 10 in stolen bases.

Going The Distance
- Senior Jordan Pace tossed UMass' first complete game of the season on Mar. 24, going all nine innings in a 1-0 setback to George Washington. Pace also went the distance this past weekend in a 3-1 loss at Rhode Island, marking his fifth career complete game as he had three in 2011 at Presbyterian. The southpaw has gone six innings or more in each of his five starts this year.
- Andrew Grant has the Minutemen's third complete game on the year, a 2-0 shutout over Rhode Island on Apr. 6.

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 44 bases (44 for 50) over 21 contests to rank 21st in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at 2.10.
- 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 27 strikeouts to nine walks over 42.1 innings of work, while Jauss is tied for second on the squad in innings pitched at 34.0 and strikeouts with 25.

Up Next
- UMass will continue its stretch of home games with an Atlantic 10 series against St. Bonaventure beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field.


 

 

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