Baseball

 
CCSU & Hartford Conclude Baseball's Homestand

April 15, 2013

 Massachusetts (7-18) vs. Central Connecticut (15-15)
Dates  Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
Location  Earl Lorden Field | Amherst, Mass.
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 PM Showers/Wind, 68 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 40%

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 Massachusetts (7-18) vs. Hartford (10-21)
Dates  Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
Location  Earl Lorden Field | Amherst, Mass.
Weather Forecast

 Sunny, 69 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%

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 Game Notes

Scouting CCSU
- Central Connecticut State University comes into Tuesday's meeting with the Minutemen with a 15-15 record. The Blue Devils are currently 9-10 on the road.
- The CCSU hitters have combined to produce a .262 batting average with six home runs and 115 runs scored. Dylan Delacruz and Tyler Mcintyre lead the way for the Blue Devils, hitting .371 and .354, respectively. Mcintyre has a team-high 23 RBI, while Delacruz has scored a squad-best 20 runs.
- The pitching staff of the Blue Devils has produced a 3.83 earned run average over 242.1 innings pitched thus far with 71 walks to 142 strikeouts.
- UMass has a 21-10 all-time record against CCSU, but dropped last year's meeting, 11-2.

Scouting Hartford
-Hartford, who will play at Quinnipiac on Tuesday, enters the week with a 10-21 record on the season, including a 3-12 mark in road games.
-The Hawks are collectively batting .227 with 117 runs scored. Ryan Lukach leads the team in home runs (2) and second on the team in on-base percentage (.380). Chris DelDebbio paces Hartford with a .297 batting average and 15 RBI.
-Hartford holds a 5.37 earned run average as a team with Jeremy Charles enjoying the most success among the Hawks' relievers as he has posted a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings pitched with just two walks to 13 strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .207.
-The Minutemen are 21-9 against the Hawks all time, including an 8-7 victory last season. 

Who's Hot

- Junior Rob McLam has been swinging a hot bat as of late and increased his reached base streak to 15 games over the weekend, the longest streak by a Minuteman this season. McLam is hitting .405 (15-for-37) over the past 10 games with seven RBI and six run scored. In the St. Bonaventure series, McLam batted a team-best .545 (6-for-11) with five RBI and four runs scored to up his team-leading batting average in Atlantic 10 play to .441 (15-for-34).
- Freshman Vinny Scifo is 9-for-28 (.321) over his last nine games, while junior Kellen Pagel went 5-for-12 (.417) last week, raising his batting average 141 points over a three-game span.
- Junior Dylan Begin returned to the lineup over the weekend, back from an injury, and went 4-for-9 (.444) in the St. Bonaventure series with four two-out RBI, including the game-winning RBI in the series-clinching 6-5 win over the Bonnies. He was a perfect 3-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Home Sweet Home
- The Minutemen opened their home schedule by taking two out of three games against NJIT, Mar. 29-30 and are now 5-2 at home thus far this year after capturing its first A-10 series victory of the season, 2-1 over St. Bonaventure.
- Freshman Vinny Scifo leads the way for UMass at Earl Lorden Field with a .368 (7-for-19) batting average and redshirt sophomore Adam Picard has driven in 10 with four extra base hits over seven games. As a squad, the Minutemen are out-scoring their opponents, 46-29 at home, while the pitching staff holds a 3.05 ERA over 65.0 innings.
- UMass went 14-6 at home last season, including winning seven of its last eight at Earl Lorden Field in 2012.

Bats Coming Alive
- UMass’ offense has come alive as of late, posting season highs in both runs (11 vs. Boston College) and hits (14 vs. St. Bonaventure) over the past four games. The Minutemen have tallied 1 or more hits in three of the last four contests after reaching the 10-hit mark just five times in the previous 21 contests to start the year.

Minutemen Advance To Beanpot Championship
- UMass rallied from a 4-0 deficit by scoring a season-high 11 runs to down Boston College, 11-6, in the teams' first round Beanpot game last Wednesday to secure a spot in the championship for the fourth time in the past six seasons.
- The Minutemen will now have the opportunity to defend their 2012 title as the squad advances to play Northeastern in the Beanpot Championship game on Apr. 29 at Fenway Park.

Cusick Breaks Into Stolen Bases Career List
- Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick currently leads UMass in stolen bases this season as he is 16-for-18 on the year, accounting for 29.6% of the squad's stolen bases total.
- Cusick now has 47 stolen bases in his career (47-for-57) has become the first Minuteman to break into the program's career stolen bases list since 2002, currently sitting tied for ninth with Bryan Mazzaferro. He needs just three 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 .70 stolen bases per-game this year and entered the week tied for fourth in the Atlantic 10 in stolen bases, 13th nationally in stolen bases per-game.
 
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 six 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); Bryan Dionicio (4/10 vs. Boston College)
- First career doubles: Paul Yanakopulos (3/2 vs. Tennessee); Jeff Cavanaro (3/3 vs. Ohio); Vinny Scifo (3/29 vs. NJIT); Kellen Pagel (4/10 vs. Boston College)
- First career triples: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Ben Panunzio (3/30 vs. NJIT); Adam Picard (4/10 vs. Boston College)
- First career RBI: Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); John Jennings (3/29 vs. NJIT); Bryan Dionicio (4/10 vs. Boston College)
- 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)
- First career win: Evan Mackintosh (4/10 vs. Boston College)

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 54 bases (54 for 61) over 25 contests to rank 19th in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at 2.16.
- 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 30 strikeouts to 13 walks over 50.1 innings of work, while Jauss is tied second on the squad in strkeouts with 27.

Up Next
- UMass will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to face La Salle in a three-game Atlantic 10 series beginning on Friday, Apr. 19, at 3 p.m.


 

 

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