Key A-10 Series For Baseball Vs. GW This Weekend
The Minutemen have won six of their past 10 games, continue eight-game homestand.
Senior Mike Gedman hit five home runs last week.
April 26, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass baseball team will look to build on its recent momentum as the squad continues its eight-game homestand with an Atlantic 10 series against George Washington, beginning with game one on Friday at 3 p.m., on Earl Lorden Field. Having won six of their past 10 games, the Minutemen enter the weekend at 10-21, including a 7-8 mark in conference play.
On The Mound
Game 1: LHP Nick Serino (1-4, 6.07 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan LaPointe (5-4, 5.61 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Jared Freni (1-4, 6.95 ERA) vs. RHP Eric Cantrell (7-1, 2.99 ERA)
Game 3: RHP Bryan Leigh (3-4, 5.44 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Richardson (5-3, 5.79 ERA)
The Minutemen In 100 Words
The Minutemen closed out the decade last season with the team's highest wins total since 2001 (27). The squad rebounded from a 1-7 start to Atlantic 10 play in 2009 and won 16 conference games on the way to the A-10 Tournament, its first trip to the postseason since 2003. A veteran lineup, which includes players with three of the top-five batting from 2009 and four of the five top five ERAs (20 or more innings pitched). UMass was picked seventh out of 14 teams in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll. Twelve newcomers fill out the squad as well.
About The Opponent
The Colonials enter the weekend series at UMass with a record of 22-19, including a 10-5 mark in Atlantic 10 games, good for second in the conference. George Washington is 10-10 on the road this season.
Tom Zebroski paces the Colonials with a .411 batting average and has played and started all of the squad's 41 games. Zebroski has driven in a squad-best 42 and scored 54 on 76 hits with 14 doubles and 11 home runs for a .676 slugging percentage. Brendon Kelliher follows, hitting .382 (52-for-136) with 10 home runs.
In total, eight George Washington players hold batting averages of .300 and above. The team is hitting .309 on the season (435-for-1410).
Saturday starter Eric Cantrell holds the best ERA among the team's starting pitchers at 2.99 and boasts a record of 7-1. He has 83 strikeouts in 69.1 innings to just 16 walks. Overall, the team has 5.61 ERA in 359.1 innings with 273 strikeouts.
UMass is 17-14 all-time against George Washington since the series began in 1970. The Minutemen took two of three from the Colonials when the squad's last met in 2008 in Arlington, Va.
Bats Are On Fire
The UMass bats have come alive as of late. The squad has posted double-digit hit and run totals in five out of its six last contests, scoring 65 runs on 85 hits with eleven doubles, two triples and eleven home runs.
In its first nine games to start 2010, the Minutemen had scored just 31 runs on 85 hits.
Seven members of UMass' starting nine have hit .348 and above over the past six contests, led by junior Eric Fredette (14-for-22, .636)
Over the past five games, Mike Gedman has hit five home runs matching his total for the 2009 season and is batting .500 (11-for-22) with 11 RBI
Leigh Collecting Honors
Senior right-hander Bryan Leigh picked up a pair of honors on Apr. 19 as he was tabbed co-Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week, the first honors of his career. Leigh repeated as A-10 Pitcher of the Week, being recognized once again on Apr. 26.
Leigh was initially honored after pitching two complete games for a total of 18.0 innings, logging a pair of victories with a 2.50 ERA and nine strikeouts. On Apr. 14 on the road at Boston College, Leigh threw 145 pitches on the way to his first win of the season, helping the Minutemen defeat the Eagles, 8-4.
On Sunday, Apr. 18, Leigh clinched UMass' series victory at Rhode Island by posting a stellar performance on the mound as the Minutemen pounded the Rams, 13-1 in game three of the teams' A-10 series. Leigh went the distance without walking a batter and closed out the contest with seven shutout innings. He scattered nine hits and struck out three, as well.
Leigh won his third straight start on Apr. 24 as he pitched eight shutout innings in the series-clinching 12-0 win over Saine Louis. He scattered four hits, walking only two and striking out a career-high eleven batters while extending his streak of shutout innings to 15 straight.
Leigh has appeared in eight games on the year, starting four. He holds a 3-1 record with a 2.18 ERA as a starter with 29 strikeouts in 33.0 innings.
In A-10 play, Leigh has posted a conference best 1.77 ERA over 20.1 innings on the hill and an opponent batting average of .227 which is good for fourth.
Three Makes History
Joining senior Bryan Leigh who was named Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week on Apr. 26, junior Eric Fredette and freshman Ryan Cusick were tabbed A-10 Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively. It marked the first time in program history that UMass garnered all three awards in one week.
Fredette had a monster week at the plate, hitting .636 (14-for-22) with a double, two home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored, extending his hitting streak to 13 straight games. In game two against Saint Louis, Fredette capped off the Minutemen's comeback from a 9-3 deficit, hitting a three-run game-tying homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Cusick, UMass' leadoff hitter, scored a team-high nine runs on the week, including a squad-best five in the three-game series against Saint Louis. He hit .409 (9-for-22) over the team's five games, going 6-for-13 (.462) at the plate vs. the Billikens with a pair of doubles.
Picking Up Where He Left Off
2009 All-Atlantic 10 first team selection Mike Donato is picking right up where he left off against conference foes as he is currently batting .386 (22-for-57) in conference play, good for 11th in the league.
Donato has seven doubles in 14 A-10 contests, tying him for third in the conference.
In 2009, Donato hit .386 in Atlantic 10 play (44-for-114) over 27 games with six doubles, four home runs, 26 RBI and 24 runs scored.
Juniors Stepping Up Offensively
Junior infielders Eric Fredette and Matt Gedman currently rank first and third on the squad in batting average at .415 (49-for-118) and .324 (44-for-136), respectively.
Fredette, a transfer from Vermont, has started 30 of 31 games thus far for the Minutemen and began his UMass career with an eight-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 27 of those contests he has played in. He is currently on a 13 game hit streak.
Fredette leads the Minutemen in multiple hit games this season with 15, while Matt Gedman is tied for the team lead in multi-RBI games with six.
Fredette's 49 hits this season surpasses his two-year production at Vermont as he had a total of 24 hits in 50 career games with the Catamounts.
Gedman, who predominately played shortstop and second as a sophomore in 2009, has started all 31 games this season, 13 as the squad's third baseman.
Having hit safely in his final game of 2009, Gedman extended his hitting streak to 12 straight for a new career high. The hit streak ended in the second game of the squad's doubleheader at Saint Joseph's, though Gedman drew walks in each of the final two games of the series against the Hawks.
Just 31 games into 2010, Gedman has set several new career highs for a season, set in 44 games in 2009, for doubles (had eight in 2009, has eight in 2010) and hits (had 37 in 2009, has 44 in 2010). He is also on pace to smash his personal best in RBI (25) and has surpassed his career high in runs scored (18) as he has totaled 22 RBI to date and has scored a squad-best 26 runs.
Nine Minutemen have registered hitting streaks of five or more games this season, led by junior infielder Eric Fredette who is currently on a 13-game hit streak. Other UMass players with streaks of 5+ games include: Brian Baudinet (11 games), Matt Gedman (11 games), Mike Donato (nine games), Ryan Cusick (six games) Tom Conley (six games), Alex Fischer (six games), Mike Gedman (six games), Kyle Multner (five games) and Peter Copa (five games).
Fredette holds the longest active hitting streak, now at 13 straight games.
Fast Start For Fischer
Since entering the lineup as a late-inning substitution on UMass' suspended game two against Richmond on Apr. 11, sophomore Alex Fischer has started nine of the ten games he has appeared in and has tallied 11 hits with eight runs scored and seven RBI.
Four of Fischer's 11 hits have been doubles, helping him to a .395 slugging percentage.
As a freshman in 2009, Fischer had one at bat, appearing in his first collegiate game as a pinch hitter vs. Rhode Island on May 8.
With his 10th career triple on Apr. 21 vs. Harvard, senior Brian Baudinet pulled into a tie for second on the program's all-time list. With 32 career doubles, Baudinet is five away from that top-10, while classmate Mike Donato is two shy of the top-10 in career doubles (35). Baudinet is tied for eighth in career walks, as well, with 79.
Jared Freni became the sole owner of the UMass record for career starts when he took the mound at Rhode Island on Apr. 17. He is currently adding to his own record and is at 41 for his career, having surpassed Bob Kostro's (1983-86) and Keith Doherty's (2001-05) previous record of 39.
Counting The Ks
In Atlantic 10 play, UMass leads the conference with 131 batters struck out over 15 conference games. Individually, Serino is second with 47 strikeouts against A-10 foes, while Freni is tied for sixth with 33.
Junior Nick Serino has rung up 53 batters (11.09 per-nine innings, while senior Jared Freni has 42 in 44 innings (8.59 per-nine innings).
As a staff, the Minutemen have struck out 10 or more 10 times in 31 games. Serino has three games this season with 10+ strikeouts (13 at Saint Joseph's, 10 vs. Richmond, 10 at Rhode Island), while Mike Gedman fanned 10 against Saint Joseph's and Freni struck out 13 against Richmond and Bryan Leigh K'd a career-high 11 against Saint Louis.
The Minutemen pitching staff set a program record with 387 strikeouts in 53 games in 2009. In 31 contests thus far, UMass has fanned 230.
A CLASS-y Guy
Senior outfielder Mike Donato has been selected as one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Donato, the lone representative from the Atlantic 10, is joined on the list of finalists by Daniel Bibona (University of California, Irvine), Stephen Cardullo (Florida State), Blake Dean (LSU), Jim Klocke (Southeast Missouri State), Cory Kovanda (Ohio State), Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State), Matt Payton (Western Kentucky), Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech) and David Towarnicky (Appalachian State).
Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner, which will be announced in June at the NCAA Men's College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Donato, along with the nine other candidates, will be placed on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award baseball ballot for a nationwide vote concluding May 31. Fan balloting is available on the award's official Web site, www.SeniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text BASEBALL to 74567 to vote for the finalists. These votes will be combined with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Beyond his success on the field, Donato boasts a 3.41 grade-point average as a History major and aspires to become a teacher and work in a low-income community.
Home Runs Threats
Eight different UMass players have combined for the squad's 29 home runs thus far with senior Mike Gedman leading the way with seven, surpassing his career best total from 2009 (5).
The Minutemen have hit at least one home run in the past six games and have totaled for 11 over that spread.
Junior Peter Copa has tied his career high of five home runs in only 31 games, it took 42 games in 2009. Matt Gedman has a new career high after hitting his first career grand slam on Apr. 18 at Rhode Island.
Four UMass players have tallied multi-home run games this season as junior Kyle Multner hit two out at William & Mary on Mar. 21, Copa belted a pair at Saint Joseph's on Mar. 27, junior Eric Fredette launched the first two long balls of his collegiate career on Apr. 7 vs. UConn and Mike Gedman belted a pair against Harvard on Apr. 21 in the Beanpot Consolation game.
Brothers Matt and Mike Gedman have homered twice in the same game this season, on Mar. 20, at William & Mary and on Apr. 7 vs. UConn.
Including the final two games of the series with Saint Louis, the Minutemen have hit back-to-back homers four times this season: Tom Conley and Multner (ninth inning at William & Mary, 3/21), Fredette and Matt Gedman (first inning vs. UConn, 4/7), Fredette and Matt Gedman (eighth inning vs. Saint Louis, game one, 4/24), Copa and Mike Gedman (fourth inning vs. Saint Louis, game two, 4/24).
The program record for home runs in a game by an individual is three, accomplished three times. The last player to hit three in a game was Nick Gorneault vs. Florida on Mar. 3, 2000.
Home Sweet Home
The Minutemen enjoyed a great deal of success at Earl Lorden Field last year, posting a 14-6 record with a .356 (255-717) team batting average, including ending the 2009 campaign with six straight victories and won their home opener in 2010 to make it seven straight before having the streak snapped against UConn on Apr. 7.
UMass is 5-4 at home this season and is batting .355 with 80 runs scored, 24 doubles and 14 home runs.
Eric Fredette, Matt Gedman and Mike Donato are all hitting over .400 at home, Fredette leads the way at .526 (20-for-38) with four homers, 16 RBI and 10 runs scored.
UMass returns all three of members from its talented outfield contingent from a year ago, comprised of Kyle Multner (left), Brian Baudinet (center) and Mike Donato (right). The trio accounted for 148 games played out of a possible 159 in 2009, including a school-record 53 by both Baudinet and Donato.
Baudinet has started 123 consecutive games in a streak dating back to March 9, 2008 at Arizona State.
Multner, Baudinet and Donato combined for 22 of the team's 60 home runs and 104 of the Minutemen's 340 RBI. Multner finished 2009 tied for the team lead in homers with nine, while Baudinet and Donato ranked second and fourth on the squad in RBI.
The three outfielders are the team leaders in career homers, Baudinet with 15, Multner with 14 and Donato with 13. Baudinet started off the 2010 campaign on a high note, leading off the season opener at Oklahoma State by hitting a home run on the second pitch of the contest. Multner has two homers on the season, while Donato has two, most recently hitting one out on Apr. 16 at Rhode Island.
Donato, a co-captain along with Baudinet and senior Jared Freni, was an All-Atlantic 10 First Team outfielder in 2009. Baudinet was an All-New England selection in 2008.
First Series Win Over The Spiders
With a 6-3 win over Richmond on Apr. 11, UMass captured its first series against the Spiders all time, going 0-6 in its previous six series with Richmond.
UMass entered the weekend 7-15 all-time against the Spiders since 1997.
In addition to the squad's eight freshmen, UMass has four transfers who have seen their first action as Minutemen this season.
Sophomore Isaac Oakley transferred to UMass from Oregon State prior to last season but missed all of 2009 with an arm injury.
The Minutemen have also added three transfers from Vermont, which discontinued its baseball program at the conclusion of 2009: junior Eric Fredette (2B), sophomore Leif Sorenson (RHP) and sophomore Ben Hart (RHP).
Freshmen Ryan Cusick and Rich Graef earned their first collegiate starts on March 24 against Hartford.
Cusick went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, all firsts for the infielder.
Graef tallied a hit in his first collegiate at bat at Oklahoma Sate on March 13 and was 2-for-3 against Harford with a double an RBI and a run scored.
Anthony Serino started his first collegiate game on Apr. 4 at Charlotte.
Serino's Strikeout Success
Junior Nick Serino, who spent the bulk of the 2009 season as the Minutemen's No. 2 starter in the weekend rotation, finished his sophomore campaign with an Atlantic 10-leading 10.62 strikeouts per-nine innings and ranked 30th in the nation.
His 72 strikeouts, which ranked second on the team, placed Serino sixth in the Atlantic 10 in 2009.
Serino carried his success into summer ball where he earned an all-star nod playing for the Lowell All-Americans of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL).
In his 2010 debut, Serino struck out six batters in five innings of work at Oklahoma State on March 14.
Serino rung up a career-high 13 batters at Saint Joseph's on Mar. 27, but suffered a hard-luck 1-0 loss against the Hawks. It marked the junior's third career game with 10+ strikeouts.
In two career starts against Saint Joseph's, Serino has logged two complete games and a combined 23 Ks.
The southpaw added his fourth career 10-strikeout game, ringing up 10 in his start against Richmond on Apr. 10. He then made it two consecutive starts with double-digit strikeouts as he fanned 10 batters in 6.2 innings on Apr. 16 in UMass' 6-4 win over Rhode Island.
Serino has 159 strikeouts in 149.2 career innings pitched, an average of 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings. He is currently tied for 14th all-time and is 75 shy of the program record, held by Jeff Reardon and Carl Boteze.
A Solid Core
Despite losing two All-Region players to graduation in designated hitter Jim Macdonald and left-handed pitcher Mitchell Clegg, along with the just the third player in program history to tally 200+ career hits, Adam Tempesta, the 2010 squad includes a solid core of returnees.
In the field, seven players currently on the Minutemen roster had 40+ games played last season.
Even with the absence of 2009 staff ace Clegg, UMass brings back its number two and number three weekend starters from a year ago in senior co-captain Jared Freni and junior Nick Serino.
Freni and Serino ranked second and third on the squad last season in innings pitched at 73.2 and 61.0, respectively.
In 2009, Freni set a program record for games started in a season with 15.
Young But Experienced
Tom Conley was thrown right into the fire as a freshman in 2009, earning the role of starting catcher as he played in 49 of 53 games, starting 46 behind the plate.
Conley was an Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honoree and hit .312 with 22 runs scored, seven doubles and drew 24 walks. He was a perfect 5-for-5 on the base paths.
Defensively, Conley boasted the squad's best fielding percentage among regular starters (.979) and had just five passed balls. He picked off three and thwarted 19 stolen base attempts.
The 2009 season was a year of record-book performances for the Minutemen co-captains. Senior outfielders Mike Donato and Brian Baudinet played all 53 games last season, tying each other for the single-season record.
Donato also took first in at-bats (217) and tied for sixth in hits (73), while Baudinet tied for third in single-season triples (5), fourth in walks (35), fourth in at-bats (209), seventh in runs (54) and seventh in total bases (113).
Senior Jared Freni started a program-record 15 games last season.
With the addition of Anthony Serino, two sets of brothers are on the Minutemen squad this season.
Anthony, a freshman outfielder, joins his brother Nick, a junior left-handed pitcher who went 5-4 last season and finished with 72 strikeouts, second-most on the team, in 61 innings.
The other brothers, junior Matt and senior Mike Gedman, had a combined 78 hits and 50 runs batted in last season. Mike also pitched in 15 games, holding down a 2.42 earned run average to go along with five saves in 2009. The Gedman's have combined for 71 hits, 10 doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBI thus far in 2010.
July is the only month with no team birthdays. February, June, September and October each have four. Several Minutemen share birthdays: Ben Hart and Sam McDonough (2/12), Joe Popielarczyk and Aaron Zaleznik (6/15), Matt Gedman and Tom Conley (9/26), and Garrett Glashoff and Alex Fischer (11/7).
Three Minutemen have April birthdays: freshman Anthony Serino (4/5), junior Corey Volpicelli (4/7) and junior Eric Fredette (4/17)
Of the 31 members of the team, 21 hail from within Massachusetts.
Five of the Minutemen are alums of Malden Catholic High School, while two of their conference rivals, Boston College High and Catholic Memorial, are also represented on the team with one player each.
The 10 out-of-staters come from Connecticut (7), New Hampshire (1), Pennsylvania (1) and New York (1).
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