14-Game Home Stand Opens Up Friday Vs. Temple
April 27, 2006
AMHERST, Mass. - The Minutemen (9-20, 7-8 A-10) come home Friday after a 10-game road trip to face the Temple Owls (7-31, 1-12 A-10), beginning a 14-game stretch at Earl Lorden Field. Those 14 games will be played in a 19-day period. The boys of spring are coming off of two tough losses to Northeastern in the Beanpot on Tuesday and Boston College on Wednesday. Both were one run games falling in the opponents' favor.
The UMass bats have come alive in the last five games, producing 36 runs in that span. This outbreak is due in large part to the hard hitting of sophomore third baseman Ryan Franczek. Franczek has hit safely in the last 12 games at a .357 rate. He now leads the team with a .340 average that has included 11 extra-base hits, producing 21 RBI and a team leading 25 runs.
Along with Franczek UMass has seen steady offensive performances from Bryan Adamski (.324 batting average, 4 HR), Adam Tempesta (.339 BA, 9 doubles), and Lou Proeitti (.318 BA, 20 runs) this season. Adamski has also been the Minutemen's go-to man in the bullpen, posting a team leading 1.59 ERA in 11 appearances, including five saves. Last week he acquired both A-10 Pitcher of the Week and UMass/Dinn Bros. Athlete of the Week awards. He continued his fine pitching, throwing an inning and two thirds of scoreless ball against BC on Wednesday.
UMass received quality pitching last weekend in the series against Saint Louis and hopes to continue to produce quality outings in this weekend's games. Coach Mike Stone plans to send David Sullivan, Chris Lloyd, and Rory McDonald to the hill this weekend.
McDonald has been the Minutemen's most reliable starter this year. He was exceptional in the nine innings he threw last weekend against the Billikens. He allowed only two earned runs and struck out six while adding a win to his 2-2 record. He enters the game with 4.34 ERA and 25 strikeouts.
Lloyd ran into trouble in his last start against Saint Louis pitching four and 2/3 innings while letting up five earned runs. He has struggled to find his rhythm this year and has a record of 0-2 with a 6.69 ERA.
Sullivan last pitched in Wednesday's game against BC. After coming in and pitching an inning and a third of no-relief, he gave up a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th. However last weekend, Sullivan turned out his best performance of the year, pitching eight innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out four. He enters the game with a 2-5 record with a 5.94 ERA.
Temple has had a hard time finding wins this season, dropping their last 12 games. Offensively they have struggled to produce runs, averaging only 4.3 runs per game while giving up nearly 8.5 a game. Errors have been a cause for concern (74 leading to 74 unearned runs). Junior third baseman Dan Brady has been the most productive, batting .289 while driving in 21 RBI and hitting five home runs.
First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, with the Saturday and Sunday games starting at Noon. Listen to the game and follow along on gametracker via umassathletics.com. If you miss the game check umassathletics.com post-game for game recap and updated stats.
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