UMass Heads To Fenway For Beanpot
April 21, 2003
THE SLATE: The Minutemen (14-11 overall, 8-4 Atlantic 10) return to action on Tuesday, April 22, when they face Harvard (12-17) in a 2:00 p.m. game at Fenway Park in the semifinals of the Beanpot Baseball Classic. UMass will then face either Boston College (18-16) or Northeastern (7-15) at Fenway on Wednesday, April 23. The consolation game is set for 2:00 p.m., followed by the championship game at 5:00 p.m. The Minutemen conclude the week when they travel to Temple (13-17, 6-6 Atlantic 10) in a three-game series. UMass will face the Owls in a doubleheader at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, and a single game at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. (All records are through games of April 21.)
A LOOK BACK: UMass posted a 4-2 record last week, and has won 10 of its last 12 games, while taking over first place in the Atlantic 10 East Division. The Minutemen opened the week with a 10-8 victory at Fordham, before dropping a 20-8 decision to Connecticut at home. UMass rebounded to defeat Holy Cross 13-3, then took two of three game from Rhode Island over the weekend. The Minutemen won the opener 4-1, before the Rams came back to take the second game 7-1. UMass then won the rubber game of the series 7-2.
UMASS IN THE BEANPOT: This is the eighth appearance for Massachusetts in the Beanpot Baseball Classic, where the Minutemen have compiled an 10-3 mark. UMass has won the Beanpot crown outright on three occasions (1996, 1997 and 2000), while sharing the title with Harvard in 1998. The Minutemen lost in the championship game during both the 1999 and 2001 seasons, while last year they played in the consolation game for the first time, defeating Harvard 5-3 for third place.
THE MINUTEMEN AT THE FENS: In total, the Minutemen have played 15 games at Fenway Park over their history. The first UMass game at Fenway came on June 6, 1966, as the Minutemen fell to Boston College, 8-5, in the NCAA District I Playoffs. UMass would return to Fenway for the NCAA District I Playoffs in 1973, but had no luck again, falling to Harvard by a score of 4-2 on May 25, and then 8-7 to Providence on May 26. UMass finally snapped the Fenway jinx with its 13-2 victory over Harvard in the semifinals of the 1996 Beanpot. All told, the Minutemen sport an all-time record of 9-6 at Fenway Park.
CURRERI HAS HUGE WEEK: Freshman outfielder Frank Curreri (Weymouth, Mass.) is coming off one of the top weeks of his young collegiate career. In six games last week, Curreri went nine for 21 (.429) with seven extra base hits (three doubles, one triple and three home runs, for a 1.095 slugging percentage) and eight runs batted in. All three of his homers and seven of his eight RBI last week came in Atlantic 10 contests, while he totaled four multi-hit games on the week. Curreri hit his first collegiate home run in the 10-8 victory over Fordham on Monday, and scored a career-high four runs in Thursday's victory at Holy Cross. He then finished the week by providing nearly all of the offense in UMass' 7-2 win over Rhode Island. In that game, Curreri went three for four with a double, two home runs and a career-high six runs batted in. Following his performance, Curreri was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week.
THE SERIES RECORDS: UMass enters Tuesday's game with an all-time record of 14-22 against Harvard, including three straight victories. The Minutemen and the Crimson have gone 6-6 against each other since the beginning of the 1996 season, but UMass has won all five games which were played as part of the Beanpot. The Minutemen stand 28-16 all-time against Boston College (2-3 in the Beanpot) and 37-30 against Northeastern (3-0 in the Beanpot).
TORRA COMING OFF BIG PERFORMANCE: Freshman righthanded pitcher Matt Torra (Pittsfield, Mass.) turned in another outstanding performance on the mound against Rhode Island on Sunday. He threw his third complete game of the season in the 7-2 victory, allowing only one earned run on five hits while striking out four. For the year, Torra now owns a 3-3 record with a 5.22 earned run average and 24 strikeouts, while throwing a team-high 39-2/3 innings.
CHOWN CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Junior righthanded pitcher Eric Chown (Fall River, Mass.) had another outstanding performance last week against Rhode Island. He threw a five-hit complete game against the Rams on Saturday, allowing only one run while striking out six in the 4-1 victory. The win was Chown's fourth straight, as he now stands 4-0 with a 3.12 earned run average against Atlantic 10 Conference foes. Overall this season, Chown now has a 4-2 record with a 5.71 earned run average and 31 strikeouts in 34-1/3 innings. He leads the team in strikeouts and is tied for the team lead in victories.
KNOCKS: Junior second baseman Cullan Maumus (New Orleans, La.) extended his hitting streak to nine games with at least one hit in each of UMass' six contests last week. Maumus went nine for 24 (.375) over those six games with five runs batted in ... Sophomore righthanded pitcher Mike Crane (Braintree, Mass.) has been a key part of the UMass pitching staff, both out of the bullpen and as a spot starter. Crane stands 4-0 on the year with a 2.73 earned run average and 28 strikeouts in 29-2/3 innings, with the Minutemen winning all three of the games he has started ... Sophomore lefthanded pitcher Scott Ratliff (Helendale, Calif.) has been impressive as UMass' closer this year, posting a 1.69 earned run average with five saves and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings.
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